Portsmouth transfers: Kieron Freeman looks back on previous Fratton Park spell and makes admission that will please fans
New-signing Kieron Freeman has admitted Pompey fans will see a different player to the one who appeared during a low-key loan spell during the 2015-16 season.
And despite his last game for then Paul Cook’s side resulting in a straight red card and his rather sheepish participation in the traditional Fratton Park lap of appreciation, the 29-year-old said he was excited at the prospect of playing in front of Blues supporters once again.
On Sunday, Freeman became Danny Cowley’s sixth new summer addition following his release from Swansea.
The right full-back, who can also operate in midfield, has signed a two-year deal at PO4, with Pompey having the option of a third.
His arrival comes five years after that loan move from Sheffield United which resulted in just seven appearances and a dismissal against Northampton on the final day of the season.
That led to the then 24-year-old sitting out the already-injury-ravaged Blues’ League Two play-off campaign which came up dramatically short against Plymouth.
Since then, though, Freeman has won titles and promotions with the Blades which saw him become a Premier League player and a Wales international.
And that’s why he believes fans shouldn’t judge him on his previous Fratton Park spell as the right-back looks forward to his reunion with the ‘special’ Fratton faithful.
Freeman told the Pompey website: ‘I couldn’t say no to the move back then, although I didn’t get the playing time that I would have liked.
‘The player arriving now is completely different to the one from all those years ago. A lot has happened since.
‘I’ve had a few promotions, appeared in the Premier League and been able to play international football.
‘Now I want to buckle down, feature in as many games as possible and help the club get to where they want to be.
‘Being here before played a big part in the decision to come here, as well as the chance to play under this manager.
‘I already knew a few of the other lads, like Bassy (Alex Bass), who was here when I was at the club previously.
‘Ellis (Harrison) is someone I’ve played alongside for Wales under-21s and I’ve come up against some of the lads. They’ve all been really welcoming.
‘I know all about this club and the fan-base, so I know what to expect now that the supporters are allowed back into games.
‘When Fratton Park is rocking on a Saturday, there’s no better feeling as a footballer – it’s really special.’
Freeman added he’s keen to add to his previous promotion-winning campaigns by achieving similar success with Pompey.
He said: ‘The aim is obviously promotion, although I don’t want to get carried away and be shouted at by the gaffer!
‘We want to be as successful as possible and it feels similar to when I was at Sheffield United in League One.
‘They’re both big clubs that are striving for something more. If we can replicate what happened there, it will be amazing.
“This a club that is looking to – and should be – moving forward and it’s exciting to now be a part of that.’