Departing star open to Pompey return

10/1/2013 (SPORT)''Portsmouth FC training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday morning.''Pictured is: (middle) Jon Harley during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (1372-1331)
10/1/2013 (SPORT)''Portsmouth FC training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday morning.''Pictured is: (middle) Jon Harley during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (1372-1331)

Jon Harley refused to rule out a Pompey return after he missed out on his Fratton swansong.

The defender also revealed he was prepared to take a pay cut to remain at Fratton Park – but was never given the opportunity.

Harley was left a frustrated figure as Pompey’s clash with former side Notts County was postponed on Saturday.

That meant he missed out on the chance to say goodbye to the fans, after being told his month-to-month contract was not being renewed last week.

Harley spoke of the affinity he has built with the club he joined in pre-season and admitted he would be open to a future return.

Harley said: ‘It’s a shame the game was called off because I wanted to get out and say thank you to the fans and goodbye to them.

‘It’s touching the reaction of the fans to me leaving. It’s sad that I have to leave and it’s at an end.

‘I felt something at this club I haven’t at any other. I felt a part of things here.

‘It’s not been a successful time here but I will look back on it fondly.

‘My family were looking to move down here and settle.

‘I was willing to take a pay cut but it was never discussed. There was no option to stay.

‘It was a case of “here’s your seven days’ notice and off you go”.

‘I would have thought there would have been an option to take a cut. It’s tough to take. I didn’t see it coming.

‘Having said that, this isn’t the most settled place.

‘I knew what the possibilities were signing month-to-month contracts.

‘If I’d signed a two-year contract it would have been a big surprise but I suppose it’s a bit different signing a month-to-month contract.

‘I’d be silly to rule out coming back here. I’ve enjoyed my time here.

‘I’d be surprised if it happened but it’s something I would never rule out because this is a part of my career I’ve enjoyed.’

Harley is unsure what his future holds but explained he intends to continue his playing career. The 33-year-old has a possible chance to move to former club Chelsea in a coaching capacity.

But the left-back still sees himself playing on.

Harley said: ‘There’s been various bits of interest but I’m not too sure what I’m going to do yet.

‘I’ve got contacts at Chelsea and there could be a chance to coach in the youth set-up there.

‘But I still hope to play and hopefully this time next week I will be playing somewhere.’

– JORDAN CROSS