Portsmouth Academy relishing stepping out at Fratton Park against Hereford

Pompey celebrate Joe Hancott's goal in their FA Youth Cup defeat to Liverpool last season. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey celebrate Joe Hancott's goal in their FA Youth Cup defeat to Liverpool last season. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Mark Kelly believes Pompey Academy are relishing the chance to play at Fratton Park as they kick-off their FA Youth Cup campaign. 

The young Blues host Hereford in the first round of the competition today (1pm). 

Pompey reached the third round last season but suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to eventual winners Liverpool

Kelly feels the non-league Bulls will aim to impose themselves physically on the Blues as they target a cup upset. 

But the academy chief has told his side to play the way they can to deliver a victory. 

Kelly said: ‘It’s a big game for them and they will throw everything at it.

‘The lads have got to soak all that up, enjoy themselves and play the football they can.

‘Hereford will want to put themselves about but the boys have got to play the style of football they want to play and will enjoy it.

‘They love getting out at Fratton and the experience for them is great.

‘They love getting out at Fratton Park and if you’re a footballer at a club like this then you should want to.’

Several of the academy youngsters featured for the reserves in Wednesday night’s 7-0 loss at the Hawks. 

That was a good experience for the fledgling talents, though, and a win against Hereford and a place in the second round of the cup can round off a productive week.

Kelly added: ‘We analysed how the game on Wednesday night went, talked about if we played the game again how it would be different.

‘We went through the education side of things and it’ll be a good week for them.’