The Portsmouth youngsters who could benefit in the coronavirus aftermath

The aftermath of the coronavirus crisis is set to ramifications on clubs up and down the country.

Saturday, 30th May 2020, 12:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 1:04 pm

Every side is set to feel the financial pinch, with traditional revenue streams such as match-day income through gate receipts and hospitality being hit.

That will continue for the foreseeable future as football will be played behind closed doors until its safe for fans to again attend games.

Kenny Jackett’s previous recruitment plans before the Covid-19 outbreak have been decimated.

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And with eight first-team players out of contract this summer, as well as four loanees, the Pompey boss could be forced to work with a small squad than usual next season.

That may mean his set-up is supplemented by younger players, with Jackett already admitted he feels upcoming talents are likely to benefit from the situation.

We’ve taken a look at who they might be...

Haji Mnoga

Joe Hancott. Picture: Joe Pepler

He’s the fledgling talent fans know most about.

Since making his debut at Crawley aged 16 years, Mnoga’s progress has been carefully tracked.

The defender made three appearances in the 2018-19 season - all in the Checkatrade Trophy.

One of those outings was in the quarter-final victory over Peterborough when he came up against established, powerful players in Ivan Toney, Lee Tomlin and Siriki Dembele.

Matt Casey. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A freak foot injury he picked up on the way to Victorious Festival in August denied Mnoga of any sort of first-team involvement until December when he was an unused substitute at MK Dons and then Gillingham.

He was then given a run-out at Walsall in the Trophy where he duly impressed.

Joe Gallen admitted Mnoga would have been considered for League One action while he was sidelined after an impressive pre-season campaign.

Having signed pro terms in December, he’ll be hoping for more opportunities next term.

Haji Mnoga. Picture: Paul Thompson

Matt Casey

The defender hasn’t quite had the season he'd have wanted after making three appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy last term.

He hasn't featured for the Blues this term, while he returned from a loan spell at the Hawks after only two outings.

Casey did eventually get regular minutes under his belt at Bognor before the shutdown of football.

The giant centre-back is out of contract at the end of the campaign but the club have the option for an additional 12 months.

Casey won’t be on big wages so Pompey may feel it’s a sensible clause to trigger - especially if Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett both leave.

Joe Hancott

Pompey’s record-holder is set to return for pre-season training in a bid to prove his fitness.

Hancott became the club's youngster-ever player when he made his debut aged 16 in a Checkatrade Trophy game against Fulham under-21s in August 2017 – only weeks after he’d left school.

The Ryde left-back has had his share of injuries during his time in the academy, but was still thought of highly enough to be offered a third-year scholarship last season.

After two appearances in the Trophy this campaign, a devastating ACL setback in October ruled him out for the remainder of the term.

But with Pompey currently heading for a left-back crisis – with Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup out of contract while Steve Seddon’s loan comes to a close – a chance for Hancott to impress could arise.

Eoin Teggart

Pompey fans have understandably been keen to keep an eye on the winger’s progress since he was recruited in the summer of 2018.

Teggart was scouted from Northern Ireland and his prowess convinced the Blues to recruit him for an undisclosed fee from Cliftonville.

The 18-year-old, who’s a youth international for his country, still needs to hone in on a few aspects of his game. But there’s no doubt the raw attributes are there – as seen on his debut in September.

Teggart possesses blistering pace and has a real desire to beat the opposing full-back and whip in crosses.

Those traits were described as ‘gold dust’ by assistant-manager Joe Gallen after the 3-1 Trophy victory.

Pompey are fairly well stocked for wingers, with Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and Ryan Williams tied down to long-term deals, meaning league appearances will be tough to come by.

However, chances cup competitions could again arise for Teggart, who is set to sign third-year scholarship terms.

Alfie Stanley

With Brett Pitman and Oli Hawkins both out of contract at the end of the season, the Blues may be light in the striking department.

Nobody would expect Stanley to dislodge either Ellis Harrison or John Marquis but there could be some games when back-up is required.

Stanley has enjoyed a prolific year playing for the academy, netting 26 times in as many games.

Academy coach Liam Daish has been impressed by how the youngster started to relish the physical side of the game more. Although he’s not the biggest, he’s robust and resilient.

After being offered a third-year scholarship, the next step for Stanley is to expose himself to senior football out on loan, but cup outings could be a possibility.

Harry Kavanagh

The right-back donned the skipper’s armband for the Academy this season.

Kavanagh’s an attacking full-back with a good engine on him, along with a decent delivery.

The defender moved to Bognor on loan at the turn of the year to get a taste of senior experience.

He became a regular for the Rocks, making 11 appearances before Isthmian League premier division campaign was declared null and void amid the coronavirus crisis.

Pompey were looking to get Mnoga out on loan to a National League club in January and similar sides could be interested next season.

If that was the case then it’d be unlikely he’d be called back for Trophy games

Kavanagh could head back out to Bognor after he pens his third-year scholarship, although he’d be able to return to Fratton Park as and when needed – potentially for cup games.

Harvey Rew

It was out of the blue when the Gosport lad put pen to paper on a pro deal in October.

Just months after signing his scholarship with the academy, Rew was rewarded with a two-year professional contract.

That suggested that potential suitors were circling and Pompey wisely moved to protect their asset.

Rew is a Wales youth international and made his Blues debut in the Trophy trip to Oxford earlier this campaign.

He featured in a holding-midfield role that evening, although the majority of his appearances for the academy have been at either centre-back or left-back.

A left-footed centre-half is something Jackett currently doesn’t have and could bring Rew closer to the fray.