Portsmouth let Reading key man Andy Rinomhota 'slip through their fingers'
AFC Portchester chairman Paul Kelly reckons Pompey missed out badly when they let Andy Rinomhota slip through the net.
The 22-year-old is making a huge impression for Championship side Reading, following his move from the Wessex League Royals in 2015.
The midfielder has started all three of their fixtures to date this season, after making 28 appearances during his breakthrough year last term.
He’s now established himself as a key player in José Manuel Gomes’ side – but he could easily have been lining up for the Blues instead.
While with the Wessex League premier division club, he had a trial with Pompey.
It proved unsuccessful, however, and Kelly admitted everyone at The Crest Finance Stadium was surprised.
‘Portsmouth said he wasn't ready,’ said Kelly.
‘100 per cent I think he is one that Portsmouth let slip through their fingers.
‘I am not quite sure what they were looking for.
‘He was a good lad who wouldn't have cost them a lot and could have made them a lot of money.
‘Being the selling club they are I am sure Portsmouth would have sold him on by now.’
Rinomhota started in the youth ranks at Portchester at the age of seven.
He progressed through their ranks and impressed reserve-team manager at the time Pete Stiles.
An injury crisis saw him promoted to the senior set-up, where he soon made a big impression with then manager Graham Rix.
It was Rix who brought him to the attention of Reading and arranged for him to go on trial.
The rest is history.
Kelly and everyone at Portchester are proud of the youngster who has kept close ties with the club.
The club also stands to benefit from Rinamohta's success.
‘Andy's mum still attends a lot of our home games and he came back to visit us in the summer,’ added Kelly.
'We got an initial fee from his signing and a couple of trickle-ons from appearances.
'The big one for us is if he makes a big money move in the future because we have a 10-per-cent sell-on clause.
‘That would help us immensely financially.’