The Hayling Island teenager and international midfielder bidding to revitalise Academy flagging production line into Portsmouth first-team

After a tumultuous time for the Academy, a 17-year-old from Hayling Island is ready to spearhead Pompey’s latest emerging talent.

Saturday, 4th September 2021, 4:30 pm
Hayling Island's Harry Jewitt-White made his Pompey first-team debut as a 16-year-old in the EFL Trophy last season. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

The Blues travel to AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night in the Papa John’s Trophy, a competition they have traditionally blooded promising youngsters.

And, in the case of Harry Jewitt-White, it will be another opportunity to gauge the ability of the highly-regarded Wales under-18 international.

The former Oaklands Catholic School pupil became the third-youngest Pompey post-war debutant when he faced West Ham under-21s in November 2020.

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He remains the Academy’s shining light following a summer overhaul which saw the departure of all last season’s second-year scholars, the majority of the third years, and long-serving coach Mark Kelly.

In addition, there was July’s high-profile incident of racially abusive language used on Snapchat, which subsequently saw three Pompey youngsters dismissed.

Now under the leadership of Greg Miller, the Blues’ youth set-up will be once again represented by Jewitt-White in Tuesday’s Plough Lane outing.

The talented midfielder featured in Wales under-18s’ draw with England on Friday, introduced from the bench at half-time.

He featured on the right of a midfield three in the 1-1 draw at Newport which saw England skipper Rico Lewis level 14 minutes from time.

Despite being born in Portsmouth’s St Mary’s Hospital, Jewitt-White qualifies for Wales through his Cardiff-born mum, Claire.

He has now spent two-and-a-half years in Wales’ set-up – and returned from his latest involvement to train with Pompey’s first-team this morning.

The former Fratton end season-ticket holder is striving to build on two Papa John’s Trophy outings collected last term as Kenny Jackett’s side reached the third round.

He will be included in the squad for Tuesday as Danny Cowley seeks to rotate his players and offer opportunities, with Leicester loanee George Hirst likely to be handed a first start.

Jewitt-White, who has been on the Blues’ books since the age of seven, made a substitute appearance in the Pompey XI friendly at Bournemouth under-21s last month.

He and his Academy colleagues saw potential pre-season first-team outings impacted by firstly the racism probe, which initially saw all youngsters suspended, and then a Covid outbreak in the camp.

Although he was on the bench as an unused substitute in Pompey’s opening day 1-0 win at Fleetwood in League One.

Now the former Purbrook Youth midfielder is eyeing returning to the first-team frame as the ex-EFL Trophy holders kick-off their latest campaign in the competition.

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