They were once defensive partners in a Dover side which came agonisingly close to Football League membership.
Now Sean Raggett will face former team-mate Sam Magri as Pompey return to the south coast to fulfil their customary pre-season date with the Hawks on Saturday.
The Blues have spent six days in Dublin on a training camp, a stay also consisting of a friendly at League of Ireland strugglers UCD.
That 11-0 demolition represented a maiden outing for Raggett, who last month arrived at Fratton Park on a season-long loan from Norwich.
Next it’s onto Westleigh Park, where the 26-year-old will encounter Magri, who recently arrived at the Hawks from Ebbsfleet.
The duo were part of the Dover team which lost in the National League play-off semi-final to Forest Green in May 2016.
It prompted Raggett to seek a change of scene with Lincoln, as his career lifted.
But they remained in touch, the Blues central defender even asking Magri for accommodation advice ahead of his south-coast switch.
Raggett said: ‘At Dover, I was centre-back and Sam featured at right-back, he’s a very good player.
‘I was a little bit surprised he didn’t move back into the Football League, he’s definitely got the talent and I can see him getting there one day.
‘After I spoke to him after I signed here, he was giving me tips where to live!
‘Sam lives in Hilsea and told me how nice it was, he was going to see if there was a flat in his building, but I’m going to try Gunwharf, there’s a lot of stuff down there.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing Sam on Saturday, though. I speak to him every now and then.
‘He talks a lot about the fans and how I should be looking forward to that first league home game with all the supporters there, but everyone knows it’s a good club.
‘I didn’t speak to him before I signed, I had already made my decision by then. I didn’t actually speak to many people.
‘You can ask anyone in the country about League One, pick any team and they are either going to select Pompey or Sunderland.
‘I didn’t need much convincing at all.’