Why Portsmouth could be without Ronan Curtis for 2020-21 season opener

Pompey could be without Ronan Curtis for the opening match of the 2020-21 season.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 12:30 pm

The Blues start the upcoming campaign in the Carabao Cup first round with a trip to Stevenage on the weekend of September 5-6.

However, that falls during an international break, meaning Curtis may be unavailable against the League Two outfit.

The winger will be hoping for a recall to the Republic of Ireland squad for Nations League matches in Bulgaria (September 3) and against Finland in Dublin (September 6).

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Stephen Kenny will take charge of his first games in the Eire hot seat after succeeding Mick McCarthy in April.

Kenny's someone who'll be well aware of Curtis, having been boss at Dundalk when the wide man was playing for League of Ireland rivals Derry City.

The 24-year-old has earned three caps for the Republic of Ireland, although he was dropped for their last squad gettogether in November.

Curtis had suffered a dip in form at Fratton Park at the beginning of last season, which resulted in McCarthy omitting him from his set-up.

Ronan Curtis in pre-season action against Stevenage last season. Picture: Joe Pepler

In total, Curtis registered 14 goals and 12 assists as Pompey suffered League One play-off semi-final defeat to Oxford United last month.

He was also rewarded with a new three-and-a-half year contract in February, having been subject of interest from Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers the previous month.

Pompey could also be without Craig MacGillivray for the clash with Stevenage.

The keeper earned a breakthrough into the Scotland squad last season, although he's yet to make his debut.

Scotland face Israel on September 4 before travelling to the Czech Republic three days' later.

Australia are out of action for the foreseeable future meaning Ryan Williams won't be on international duty.