Portsmouth coach outlines impact of senior players who dropped down to feature with youngsters in Hampshire Cup
Liam Daish has praised the contingent of first-team players who featured for Pompey in last night’s Hampshire Senior Cup victory over Basingstoke Town.
Alex Bass, Paul Downing, Connor Ogilvie, Gassan Ahadme, and Michael Jacobs all played the match’s entirety as they looked to gain valuable minutes.
After a 0-0 stalemate, the Blues goalkeeper turned saviour in the penalty shootout by saving from Aiden Lewis, two kicks after seeing his own effort saved.
Pompey have also used the competition as an opportunity to expose academy players to senior football, as a number of the Blues starlets lined up alongside the first-team fringe players.
Daish sang the praises of the senior quintet for their attitude towards the game.
Pompey’s professional development phase coach, said: ‘I’m really grateful for the older lads, the way they looked after the academy players, and I thought to their credit the youngsters held their ground well.
‘It was all about the experience for the younger players, but we were also able to give some of the first-team pros some minutes under their belts as well, and their attitude towards the young lads was first class, and I appreciate that.’
With Pompey featuring in competitions such as the Hampshire Senior Cup and the Papa John’s Trophy, more academy hopefuls will get a taste of senior football this season.
After last night’s victory, the Blues have progressed into the third round of the competition but are yet to find out their next opponents.
Daish explained how a run in all competitions benefits younger players.
He added: ‘We want to do well in all the competitions. The Hampshire Cup gives us the opportunity to blood in younger players and give them more experience against a non-league side.
‘It’s invaluable, and by winning it gives us and the lads another chance to experience that again.
‘It’s invaluable for the younger lads (playing with and against senior pros), from my own experience, I learnt more from playing with and against experienced players, than players my own age when I got to under-18s.’