The 'two humble boys' who helped Millwall's Jed Wallace settle in at Portsmouth

Jed Wallace revealed how ‘humble boys’ Jason Pearce and Joel Ward helped him settle at Pompey.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 1:00 pm
Joel Ward and Jason Pearce. Picture: Steve Reid (121404-926)

The midfielder arrived at Fratton Park from non-league Lewes in August 2011 when he was 17.

After swiftly catching the eye, Wallace was fast-tracked to train with the first team, despite being an academy player.

It was a daunting step up for the Reading-born ace, but was made easier by two established members of Michael Appleton’s side.

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Pearce and Ward – good friends who’d both graduated through the Blues’ youth ranks before departing for Leeds and Crystal Palace respectively in 2012 – ensured Wallace was looked after in the senior set-up.

And it’s something the 25-year-old, who left PO4 for Wolves in 2015, is still grateful for.

Speaking ahead Millwall's 2-1 London derby victory over Charlton earlier this month, Wallace told ‘I know Jason Pearce from Pompey. Him and Joel Ward were the two who were really nice to the young lads, which you don’t forget about really.

‘Because I would say there were a few unfriendly characters there when I broke through. Him and Wardy were two humble boys who would always make the effort to say hello to you.

Former Pompey midfielder Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘And when you’re a young, spotty 17-year-old – a nervous wreck coming to train with the first team – it means a lot when one of the senior lads says “How you doing Jed, you all right?” rather than look at you like “what are you doing here?”

‘I won’t forget that in a rush. He was a really nice fella and a good leader – that sort of type.’