Portsmouth’s academy coach believes their involvement in the Hampshire Senior Cup will have a positive impact on the Blues' future stars after a youthful side progressed into the third round against Basingstoke Town

Professional development phase coach, Liam Daish, explained how the Hampshire Senior Cup is a valuable experience for Pompey’s future stars, as the Blues progressed into the third round of the competition.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:47 pm
Liam Daish believes the Hampshire Senior Cup will be a valuable experience for Pompey's young players Picture Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

The Blues fielded a team composed mainly of academy hopefuls against Basingstoke Town, but also used it as an opportunity to give some much needed minutes to first team players.

Paul Downing captained the team alongside Connor Ogilive, while Alex Bass, Gassan Ahadme and Michael Jacobs all featured too.

After an even contest, the match ended 0-0 which forced a penalty shootout. Bass was the eventual hero on the night as he made amends after seeing his own spot kick saved, to produce a fine stop in sudden death.

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Daish later explained how playing in a competitive competition in senior football provides different challenges to that of academy football.

Daish said: ‘They’re playing for something in this competition. Academy football is all about development, and doesn’t provide the same challenges.

‘Today is about getting through to the next round, and although you want to develop the players further, at the end of the day, you’re trying to get players ready for a performance related sport where three points, or getting through to the next round is what it’s all about. Today was something that the young players haven't experienced before.

An estimated 1000 fans were in attendance at the Winklebury Sports Complex which provided a lively atmosphere throughout the night.

Both Basingstoke Town fans and the Fratton faithful contributed towards the attendance figures, and Daish expressed how playing under intense pressure is only a good thing:

He said: ‘It’s invaluable experience of how to cope, and I thought we did that really well. Everyone makes mistakes, but I thought they showed great bravery in continually wanting to try things, while committing to offering themselves to the ball and no one shied away from it.

‘Tonight will be something that they can bank on, and hopefully look forward to the next round and want more of these experiences.’