Rating Portsmouth's most recent non-league signings record as they prepare to plunder the market this summer

Pompey are hoping to reap the rewards by plundering the non-league market.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 4:55 am

With Danny Cowley looking to supplement his squad foe next season with young talent from the National League, it could lead to a lucrative return in the long term.

The Blues have hopes of a one-in-four hit rate to yield financial gain, with Cowley working his magic with the likes of Lyle Taylor and Ryan Tafazolli in the past.

But what’s Pompey’s recent record like when it comes to signing players outside the Football League?

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On average, the Blues have signed one year for the past five season.

We’ve taken a look how they’ve worked out.

Ben Tollitt

Amid signing established Football League players such as Michael Doyle, Gareth Evans and Christian Burgess during Paul Cook's first summer in charge, the Pompey boss took a chance on Tollitt.

The Liverpool-born winger had been plying his trade at non-league Skelmersdale United.

Tollitt featured 18 times in total for the Blues, scoring one goal. He left on loan for Tranmere in September 2016 before making that move permanent three months later.

He's since represented Blackpool, Wrexham and now plays for AFC Fylde in National League North.

Verdict - miss

Jamal Lowe

Having dropped to non-league after coming through the ranks at Barnet, Lowe was spotted for his plunders at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

By the time the winger arrived at Pompey in January 2017, he'd bagged 22 goals in 28 outings for the Beavers in their National League South campaign.

Lowe's double would seal with Blues' League Two promotion at Notts County, as well as bagging in the 6-1 win over Cheltenham which secured the title.

Also netting in the Checkatrade Trophy final triumph over Sunderland at Wembley in 2019, Lowe left Fratton Park the following summer for Wigan. In total, he scored 30 goals in 119 games.

Lowe was one victory off becoming a Premier League player although Swansea suffered a 2-0 loss to Brentford in the Championship play-off final on Saturday.

Verdict - hit

Nicke Kabamba

Shortly after Lowe's exit, his partner-in-crime from Hampton & Richmond also joined him at Pompey.

Kabamba had scored 21 goals during the first half of the season at The Beveree Stadium, leading to Pompey taking a gamble.

However, the striker featured only six times for the Blues. He was loaned to Colchester and Aldershot in 2017-18 before going on to play for Hawks, Hartlepool and Kilmarnock.

Kabamba was released by Killie following their relegation from the Scottish Premiership this term.

Verdict - miss

Oli Hawkins

The striker was high on Kenny Jackett's 2017 summer shopping list after he succeeded Paul Cook as boss.

However, it took until deadline day for Hawkins to sign from Dagenham & Redbridge on a three-year deal.

The ex-Heme Hempstead man had his detractors, but his selfless style of play was appreciated by team-mates.

It was in 2018-19 when Hawkins was at his best for the Blues. He led the line for the majority of the campaign as Pompey fell to play-off semi-final defeat.

Hawkins also bagged the winning penalty in the shootout victory over Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

The forward left last summer after netting 18 times in 96 games.

He spent last season at Ipswich although looks unlikely to survive Paul Cook's overall this summer.

Verdict - hit

Louis Dennis

The forward's arrival in May 2018 caught plenty of people aback.

Dennis had enjoyed a superb season with National League Bromley, scoring 21 goals and provided 12 assists in 53 appearances the previous campaign.

However, Dennis never hit it off at Pompey. He made just one substitute appearance in the league and eight overall, netting one goal.

Dennis left a year later for Leyton Orient and was released at the end of the season.

Verdict - miss

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild

Pompey's last signing from non-league. The forward was recruited from Bromley in January 2020 for an undisclosed fee and made his debut just a day later at Walsall in the EFL Trophy.

That remains the ex-Charlton man's only Blues outing to date.

He returned to Bromley on loan for the first half of this season before joining Southend in January.

Hackett-Fairchild scored once in 25 games as the Shrimpers suffered relegation from League Two.

With a year left on his contract, the 23-year-old will link up with Pompey in pre-season hoping to prove his worth.

Should he fail to break into Cowley’s plans, a permanent departure may well be on the cards.

Verdict - jury's out