Joe Gallen is hoping Eoin Teggart’s ‘gold dust’ attributes can play a key part in Pompey’s future.
The academy winger delivered a superb performance on his Blues bow in the 3-1 Leasing.com Trophy victory over Norwich under-21s on Saturday.
He was Kenny Jackett’s chief attacking threat, with the first of Ellis Harrison’s two goals and fellow-debutant Josh Flint’s strike stemming from Teggart’s crosses.
Recruited from Northern Irish side Cliftonville for an undisclosed fee last season, the second-year scholar showed blistering pace throughout his man-of-the-match display.
But his left foot is why Gallen’s so excited about the 17-year-old’s potential.
Since Jackett's arrival as boss, Pompey have been unable to recruit a wideman who’s naturally left footed.
The likes of Matty Kennedy, Andre Green, Viv Solomon-Otabor and current regular Ronan Curtis all prefer their right boot.
Gallen admitted it’s a rare quality to unearth – but the Blues may have done so in Teggart.
The assistant manager said: ‘Eoin has a lot of pace and it was great to see.
‘Left-footed wide players who put crosses in are not easy to find. There are very few of them around and we’ve always been trying to sign players like that but they don’t really exist believe it or not.
‘If we can have Eoin, develop him and maybe get him into some senior football on a Saturday afternoon then hopefully there’s a player who can get into out first team and do that job for us.
‘He’s got a lot of pace. Sometimes you can use so much energy to get into the final third you're a little bit shattered.
‘That’s when you need a bit of composure. From a technical point of view, you need a nice connection with the ball to put it into the right area and he did do that.
‘For the first goal, it came from one of his crosses when Leon (Maloney) headed it back and Ellis put it in.
‘He put in two or three crosses like that. Someone with pace and a nice left foot is gold dust really.
‘Everyone would have been impressed with his pace and turn of speed to career down the left-hand side. That’s what we want from our wide players.
‘We want players that pick it up and go at the full-back. Let’s be honest, everyone does like that when players get to the line and sling in crosses.
‘It's a little bit old-school but very effective.'
After returning from Republic of Ireland duty, Curtis looks set to replace Teggart when Pompey host Burton in League One on Tuesday.
Gallen revealed he wants the former Derry man to use his left foot more frequently.
He added: ‘Ronan is predominantly right-footed but can sometimes use his left. Maybe he needs to use his left a little bit more.
‘We do encourage him to do that but having a natural left-sided player is tough to find and to get.
‘There aren’t many players like that so if we can develop Eoin as one of our own then great.’