Why Portsmouth are signing Exeter's Lewis Ward as Huddersfield's Jacob Chapman departs after just one training session

Kenny Jackett has lifted the lid on a frantic day of goalkeeping business as Pompey put the finishing touches to their squad.

Thursday, 28th January 2021, 3:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2021, 4:01 pm

The Blues this afternoon are due to sign Exeter’s Lewis Ward on loan for the rest of the season, with the 23-year-old arriving to push first-choice keeper Craig MacGillivray.

That’s despite Aussie Jacob Chapman today training with the first-team squad after linking up with the Blues from Championship Huddersfield.SUBSCRIBE today for the latest Pompey update

Ward presents a more experienced option compared to the untried 20-year-old, however, with the former Reading man picking up 40 Football League appearances to date.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

That prompted Jackett to turn to the man who’s got 10 outings under his belt this term, with Alex Bass sidelined.

Youngsters Duncan Turnbull and Taylor Seymour are also at the club, but aren’t deemed ready for League One football - leading to the move for Ward.

The 6ft 4in man will take the final berth in Pompey’s 22-man squad for players aged over 21, following the introduction of the salary cap and squad restrictions in League One last year.

Jackett feels that was a move worth making to give his keeping options the nous he feels is required.

New Pompey keeper Lewis Ward. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

He said: ‘We did have a triallist in Jacob Chapman but we are this afternoon signing Lewis Ward from Exeter.

‘He’s a 23-year-old keeper who came through at Reading and we’re signing him on loan until the end of the season.

‘It’s verbally agreed and will be completed this afternoon.

‘I wanted to bring in a goalkeeper who can cover and has league experience.

‘I have seen him come through at Reading and I do feel he was a really good prospect there.

‘He’s gone on to get a number of league games behind him now.

‘The fact he does have league experience does help us.’

Alex Bass’ ongoing injury issue has prompted Jackett’s move into the market for a keeper, with a host of options considered this month.

But Ward is someone who will be able to arrive and fit within the £2.5m wage ceiling Pompey are working to, while offering the kind of keeping knowledge Jackett sought.

That meant Chapman returning north after just a single session, after the opportunity to land the Exeter man presented itself.

Jackett added: ‘We’ve considered quite a few people in different situations, but we’re going for Ward and have a verbal agreement.

‘We do feel we need someone with league experience in that time.

‘We don’t really want to rush Alex back too much and sometimes it can take a little while to adjust and get back to being at 100 per cent.

‘I did feel we needed the cover and we were always going to assess that situation and sum it up at the end of January, which is where it is now.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Pompey coverage 365 days a year.

We’ve launched a new transfer window special offer for readers to get 20% off our subscription package.

Use the promo code TRANSFER20 to sign up here.