Portsmouth announce deals as new wave of emerging talent are handed first-team promise

Two emerging Pompey talents have been handed third-year scholarships.

By Jordan Cross
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 7:23 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 7:38 pm
Dan Gifford, left, and Alfie Bridgman have been handed third-year deals
Dan Gifford, left, and Alfie Bridgman have been handed third-year deals

Midfielder Alfie Bridgman and striker Dan Gifford will remain at Fratton Park next season, as they continue their progress.

Former Purbrook Park student Bridgman has made two first-team appearances, while Emsworth’s Gifford has impressed on loan at Bognor and was last night named academy player of the season.

The pair follow Toby Steward and Harry Jewitt-White who have earned professional deals.

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Academy boss Greg Miller told the club’s official site the quartet will gain a chance for inclusion in Danny Cowley’s first-team squad.

He said: ‘It’s brilliant news for them and now they need to keep working hard to continue their progress.

‘Dan’s had such a successful loan at Bognor and I know they’re desperate for him to stay for next season, while Alfie’s also had a good spell there over a shorter period.

‘Danny Cowley wants them both in for the first day of pre-season and then we’ll sit down and work out where the best destination for any of our players is.

‘But the gauntlet has been thrown down and if they immediately start showcasing their talents to a high level, then that might allow them to find their way into the Pompey squad.’

Harvey Hughes, Izzy Kaba, Conor Manderson and David Setters have not been offered new Pompey deals.

Miller added: ‘It is always heartbreaking when it’s deemed that any young player has reached the end of their time with the club.

‘There is also some pastoral support that has been put in place and a number of one-to-ones with our head of psychology.

‘That support will continue to be there for these players – not only over the summer, but also in the future as they transition away from Portsmouth Football Club.

‘It’s just trying to help them identify the best pathway. Some are contemplating a US scholarship, some are looking at an U23 professional team and some want to go straight into the men’s game at whatever level.’