Portsmouth boss reveals scenario over moves for non-league goal machine and 21-goal Cambridge United striker linked with Wycombe Wanderers

Danny Cowley has revealed his admiration for non-league scoring sensation Alfie Rutherford.

By Jordan Cross
Monday, 4th July 2022, 4:55 am

But the Pompey boss admitted he doesn’t currently see a move for the former academy talent accelerating.

And Cowley also stated Cambridge United’s Sam Smith is not currently on his radar, as he seeks to bolster his attacking options.

Talk has surfaced of a homecoming for Rutherford, after smashing in a phenomenal 32 goals in 37 appearances to fire Dorking Wanderers to the National League.

The former Hawks and Moneyfields man was released by Pompey as a youngster, with a heart problem highlighted as the reason for not giving him a scholarship.

The goals have flowed wherever he’s gone since, however, with the 23-year-old said to be interesting a number of league clubs.

Meanwhile, Smith’s stock is on the rise after bagging 21 finishes for Cambridge as they established themselves in League One, with Pompey and Wycombe linked with the 24-year-old.

Cowley outlined his appreciation of the qualities of both men, but doesn’t see them as players he’d bring in at present.

Alfie Rutherford, left, and Sam Smith, right

He said: ‘We know Alfie and he’s scored goals consistently in the lower leagues - and good on him.

‘He’s a Pompey boy and we know him well.

‘He did very well at Dorking last year and we wish him well.

‘Alfie is a boy who scores goals wherever he goes and whoever he plays for - he scores regularly and good on him.

‘There’s nothing in that, though. There’s nothing in either (player).

‘I know Sam and he’s a good player, but no.’

Pompey opened their pre-season campaign with a win over Hawks on Saturday, before succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to Gosport at the end of an intense period of pre-season training.

The Blues boss made it clear the need to add bodies in that area remains pressing, as the players depart for a pre-season training camp in Spain.

He added: ‘For us, we knew pretty much from January onwards we needed to recruit heavily in this area.

‘We’ve worked really hard to firstly identify the right players, and now we are really hopeful we’ll be able to get some of these over the line.

‘I’ve said many times before we really believe in the work we do on the training pitch, so the quicker we get this group together the better our chance of being successful.

‘I’m hopeful, really hopeful (of attacking signings).

‘We need to get this group together as quickly as we can.

‘I know everyone is working hard at the club to make that happen.’