Portsmouth building European links to boost youth development

Pompey Academy chief Mark Kelly. Picture: Keith Woodland
Pompey Academy chief Mark Kelly. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Pompey are building links across Europe to boost youth development. 

Mark Kelly revealed the Blues have built up a rapport with Finnish side Pallo-Iirot and will weigh up sending players out on loan to help youngsters’ progress. 

Pompey have brought in four players from outside the south-coast area in the past year.

Croatian goalkeeper Petar Durin was signed from Italian outfit Atalanta for an undisclosed fee, while Northern Ireland under-17 international Eoin Teggart arrived from Cliftonville.

This summer, Portadown duo Gerard Story and Harry Anderson have moved to Fratton Park. 

Kelly revealed there’s the possibility of some academy players spending time at Pallo-Iirot – where former academy coach Scott Green is involved – down the line. 

Oscar Johnston and James Whiting, released by Pompey this summer, are currently training with club that play in the third tier in Finland.

And it’s just one club the Blues have built up a relationship with. 

Youth chief Kelly said: ‘Some of the boys we let go are out there now – Oscar Johnston and James Whiting.

‘We’re building that little link. We’re building loads of links everywhere.

‘Scott worked with us for a long time and it’s another good avenue for us to have a little look at.

‘Plus it is different. Development is about different playing styles and the way they play in Finland is a bit more technical – that’s the way they go about it.

‘It is another avenue for us where we can loan boys out.

‘It’s nice those two boys have gone out there and are trying to earn a job for themselves.’