Mark Catlin: Football’s perception of Portsmouth has changed for the better

Mark Catlin is convinced Pompey have won back the respect of football.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 5:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 5:46 pm
The Fratton faithful have earned praise for their level of support in Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy final. Picture : Habibur Rahman

And the Blues’ chief executive revealed the Checkatrade Trophy success has presented him with prized memories for life.

Kenny Jackett’s side defeated Sunderland on penalties during Sunday’s enthralling Wembley encounter.

Attended by 85,021 – a competition record – the final presented Catlin with his second trophy since associated with the club.

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Having arrived in September 2012 during the darkest days in Blues history, these are cherished times for Catlin.

The Checkatrade Trophy joins the League Two title secured in May 2017 inside the Fratton Park trophy cabinet.

While Pompey's reputation is also enjoying a resurgence.

Catlin said: ‘Ahead of the final there were some great people in the game wishing us well and it’s fantastic to hear.

The Fratton faithful have earned praise for their level of support in Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy final. Picture : Habibur Rahman

‘I’ve said it for a while, I think people do look at Portsmouth now and say “Wow, what a club”.

‘I am always at pains to say, I am one small piece of a huge jigsaw, starting from the staff, the directors and then onto the fans.

‘Sunday was an amazing day. Walking back to the hotel and people stopping you, wanting to have photographs, wanting to speak to you about the game, those are memories you can never replace.

‘As much as people from Portsmouth are very patriotic and stand proud for Queen and country, they are also proud to represent the city.

‘It is something you cannot replicate in any other city.

‘They are proud of their football club because that is representative of the city they care so passionate about.

‘AFor me, that moment when Brett raised that trophy – and me seeing the blue flags with our end packed – will probably stick in my memory for the rest of my life.’

Unlike the finale to the 2016-17 season, Catlin insists there were no wild celebrations from Pompey’s squad.

And is was back to training for the players on Tuesday morning.

He added: ‘After the game we went back to the Hilton Hotel over the road, there were players there, players’ wives and all the staff.

‘It wasn’t a party, there wasn't any music or wild celebrating, but we always said win or lose we would take a moment together for a few hours.

‘Obviously if we’d lost, it probably would have ended at 7.30pm, but it carried on for a bit later!

‘The players stayed at different times. I don’t want to get any of them into trouble, but Gareth Evans, Tom Naylor and Matt Clarke stayed, there was no-one drunk, it was very calm.

‘And Gareth didn’t sing!’