Portsmouth chief explains reason behind record-holding defender's release

Mark Kelly is confident released defender Joe Hancott will be a success as he steps into life after Pompey.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 7:00 am

The Isle of Wight ace left the Blues last month after making a full recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Hancott spent 12 years at Fratton Park and holds the record as the club’s youngest player in post-war history aged 16 years and 161 days.

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Hancott's joined Bognor ahead of next season, while he’s working as a PE teacher and studying for an applied sports studies degree at the University of Salford.

And Kelly reckons the 20-year-old has the potential to return to the professional game in the future should he wish.

Pompey's player development manager said: ‘It is sad to see Joe go but he wants to get on with his life and has got everything set out for him.

‘He's a great kid and it was a real battle for him over quite a few years. He can be proud how he dealt with things and how he went about it because it's not an easy situation.

Joe Hancott. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

‘I'm sure Joe will fold back into football and hopefully he will because he's still got a lot of potential in my eyes. Hopefully he comes back in his own time.

‘Joe's off doing his degree and getting his life sorted. He's one of those kids who's bright and intelligent and I'll never worry about.

‘As I said, hopefully he can bounce back and, at some stage, we'll see him again (in the professional game).’

In total, Hancott made three appearances for Pompey – all in the EFL Trophy.

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