Awfs is man for Pompey in time of need

Andy Awford, left, and Kit Symons formed a good defensive partnership during their playing days at Pompey
Andy Awford, left, and Kit Symons formed a good defensive partnership during their playing days at Pompey

Kit Symons believes Andy Awford is the right man to guide Pompey through their current troubles.

Former club hero Awford came back to Fratton Park two years ago after he swapped the security of a teaching job for a role as the Blues’ Academy boss.

And the 40-year-old stepped into the first-team picture in November – along with caretaker boss Guy Whittingham – following Michael Appleton’s departure for Blackpool.

Symons believes the Blues couldn’t have opted for a better choice to help the club in its time of need along with Whittingham.

He helped form a formidable central-defensive partnership with Awford in the early ’90s under the guidance of then manager Jim Smith.

Now Fulham Academy boss, Symons knows his pal took a risk by taking the plunge and getting back into the game.

But he feels the call from Pompey was too strong for someone like Awford to resist.

‘It’s great for him and I’m pleased he is back in,’ said Symons.

‘He got into his teaching and worked really hard at that.

‘It was almost a bit of gamble for him to go back in.

‘But Awfs is a football person and has an awful lot to offer. It’s great for him to muck in with Whits.

‘As well as being a good football coach, he’s been a mate for a long, long time.

‘The one thing about what Awfs was doing is it was a stable job.

‘Even at the best-run football club, working in the game is not the most stable job.

‘But he weighed it all up, and once it’s in your blood – like it is with Awfs – it’s hard not to do it.

‘Sometimes your head is saying don’t do it, but your heart is telling you go for it – and you invariably do.’

Symons, who will be inducted into this year’s Pompey Hall of Fame, admitted it was tough to see his old club teetering on the brink.

The next significant date for the Blues is the High Court date at the end of the month, which is expected to see a valuation placed on Fratton Park.

That is the final obstacle to seeing the Pompey Supporters’ Trust assuming control of the club.

Symons knows people involved with the Trust and feels their efforts to save Pompey are to be applauded.

He said: ‘It’s a tough time for the club a the minute, with these court dates.

‘I know some of the people from the Trust and bumped into them earlier this season.

‘It’s a difficult time for everyone at the club.

‘I just hope it works out for the best.

‘I’m like everyone and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it all gets sorted out.’

– JORDAN CROSS