Former AFC Portchester and Baffins players among new US Portsmouth signings

US Portsmouth lifted the curtain on the post-Glenn Turnbull era with a friendly win against higher division Chichester City.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 8:50 am
New US Portsmouth defender Jack Barker, left, in action for AFC Portchester in 2019/20. Picture: Keith Woodland

Though around half of the squad that reached last season’s FA Vase semi-finals have joined Turnbull at Moneyfields, others were on show as USP won 3-0 at Furze Lane on Tuesday.

Assistant manager Tom Jeffes, John Cass, Frankie Paige and Jack Chandler all got game time along with last season’s fringe players such as Brodie Spencer and George Root.

Dan Sibley (currently injured) and Cam Quirke (unavailable) also remain at US from the history-making 2020/21 squad.

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Three were a smattering of new faces on show - former AFC Portchester midfielder Ryan Smart, ex-Moneyfields and Portchester defender Jack Barker, goalkeeper Lewis Boughton and former Baffins centre half Connor Saunders.

More new signings will follow ahead of USP’s first-ever Wessex League Premier Division game against Alton early next month.

Smart was a regular in the Portchester side around five and six years ago, but last season only played in the City of Portsmouth Sunday League for Jameson Arms.

‘He’s a Rolls Royce of a player,’ enthused USP boss Tom Grice.

Barker played for Portchester in 2019/20 before returning to Moneyfields last summer, while Saunders was a regular for Baffins a few years ago.

Grice liked what he saw against Chichester. ‘It was as if we’d never been away,’ he said. ‘I know we’ve lost a few players but we carried on where we left off last season.

‘We need a bit more strength in depth. We’ve got a good eleven - more than a good eleven in fact - but we need a few more players.

‘Glenn had a s quad of 20-odd players. I’m not saying I want that many, but I want a few more than what we’ve got at the moment.’

USP host Wessex League newcomers Infinity on Friday and then welcome Hampshire Leaguers Locks Heath on Saturday (10.30am). The early kick off time is because the game is being played on the 3G at HMS Temeraire and a Hampshire League Cricket match is due to start at 1pm.