Why new Portsmouth starlet turned down Sunderland, Derby County, Brentford & Co to make Fratton move reality

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Terry Devlin has revealed what convinced him to turn down a host of high-profile opportunities to join Pompey.

The Northern Ireland rising star detailed how the intensity of the Blues’ chase for his services and vision for his future, made it clear Fratton Park was the place for him.

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A host of scouting trips to watch the 19-year-old in action for Glentoran were undertaken, before sealing a £90,000 deal.

Pompey’s desire to land the under-21 international and clear plans to put him immediately in Mousinho’s plans, proved decisive factors in the move being completed.

Devlin said: ‘It’s been exciting and a big adjustment for me moving away from home and my family.

‘I’ve settled in well, the lads have looked out and looked after me, so I’m enjoying it so far.

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‘I was hearing from my agent Pompey had been watching me towards the end of the season.

New Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin in action against Bognor: Picture: Jason Brown.New Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin in action against Bognor: Picture: Jason Brown.
New Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin in action against Bognor: Picture: Jason Brown.

‘I was just playing away, but once the season finished things started to heat up really.

‘I was hearing more and more interest, and they really put their foot down to show they wanted me.

‘It was good to have a bit of interest, but I came here because of how much I was wanted - it was hard to turn down.

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‘It was Pompey’s real keenness to sign me. They outlined their plans, how they see their future for me and what they could give me. I just really liked what they’re saying.

‘I knew they’d been over a few times and watched me on TV, so I knew they were really keen. That was good for me.’

That ended with European football being secured for the Glens, but the teenager always felt he would be moving across the Irish Sea.

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He added: ‘I was still part-time at Dungannon last year, so I had to move to Glentoran for that step up to become professional.

‘I knew from there the next step I wanted was to move across to England and play. That was always on my mind.

‘It was definitely a breakthrough season for me. I established myself really well in the league and got myself on the scoresheet a few times.

‘It was a season of up and downs. I got six goals - but five came after January.

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‘We started off well but picked up a few injuries and hit a bad patch. That led to a managerial change which was tough, so we had pick ourselves up and eventually finished the season strongly and got European football.

‘They want to win trophies, but it was nice to leave on that high. I was happy to leave on a high note like that.

‘It’s a big opportunity to play in Europe, but the opportunity to come here was far, far greater.’

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