Rapid Pompey in a hurry to recruit

KENNY JACKETT urged a sprint start from Pompey during the transfer window.

Sunday, 17th June 2018, 8:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:53 pm
New Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray is one of five early recruits

The response certainly has come at breakneck speed compared to recent south-coast summers.

By June 11, the Blues had recruited five new faces as squad strengthening began at pace.

At the same stage last year, not a single player had been recruited.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In fact, it would be more than two months later before that five-player tally was matched, following Brett Pitman’s arrival.

Granted, the pursuit of transfers was hindered after Paul Cook’s departure for Wigan, with Jackett landing on June 2.

Nonetheless, other seasons also lag behind in terms of the swiftness in bringing fresh faces to Fratton Park.

Over a 21-day period this summer, Ronan Curtis, Louis Dennis, Craig MacGillivray, Tom Naylor and Lee Brown were signed up by the Blues.

In comparison, by June 11, there were two in 2014, two in Paul Cook’s first season (2015) and two ahead of the League Two promotion campaign.

And, of course, none last summer, with Nathan Thompson the first arrival on June 22.

Back in the summer of 2014, newly-installed boss Andy Awford set about reinforcing his Pompey squad.

That saw Danny Hollands permanently recruited from Charlton and goalkeeper Paul Jones arriving from Crawley.

An encouragingly brisk start, although it would be after mid-June when Craig Westcarr, Nigel Atangana, Michael Poke and James Dunne joined the new boys.

In addition, loanees Alex Wynter and Miles Storey came in July as recruitment gathered pace.

The fact remains, at this stage, only two players had arrived at Pompey.

Onto the summer of 2015 and Cook’s appointment on May 12 granted him plenty of time for the necessary overhaul.

His first signing was Kyle Bennett from Doncaster followed by Kal Naismith before the month was out.

Otherwise, similar to the previous campaign, the significant strengthening occurred from mid-June.

Enda Stevens landed on June 15, 2015, followed by Gary Roberts, Adam McGurk, Adam Barton and Christian Burgess before the end of the month.

Once more, two had been snapped up before June 11.

Remaining as manager for the summer of 2016, Cook had a prized opportunity to hit the ground running with his recruitment.

Yet once again two players arrived before June 11 – Danny Rose from Oxford United and Matt Clarke on a permanent deal.

Still, from June 14, 2016, Carl Baker, Drew Talbot, Michael Smith and Milan Lalkovic, followed them into Fratton Park.

Of course, the summer of 2013 was an anomaly, with 11 signed before June 11 after the club rebuilt from the verge of liquidation.

Yet, in subsequent stable times, recruitment has so far proven rapid this term.