Drennan revelling in familiar surroundings

Michael Drenna celebrates his second at Dagenham & Redbridge last season Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Drenna celebrates his second at Dagenham & Redbridge last season Picture: Joe Pepler

After pulling into the Fratton end car park, Michael Drennan spotted a familiar face.

It was kitman Kev McCormack.

The Aston Villa striker was back, returning to the club he served for 70 loan days last season.

Walking into Andy Awford’s squad for training last Thursday, there were plenty he recognised.

A few he didn’t, of course, but for Drennan it was a homecoming and a precious chance to prove his Football League quality once more.

This week he will leave his Southsea hotel to move back into the Port Solent club house, which had provided his accommodation during his previous spell at the Blues.

And for the 20-year-old, they are familiar surroundings he believes he can thrive in.

‘I enjoyed the three months last year. It’s such a big club, a Premier League club, especially with the fans – they are great,’ said Drennan.

‘I stayed in the club house in Port Solent with Danny East over that time – he looked after me, he was great.

‘I just felt at home with the lads – so when there was the chance to come back I was going to take it.

‘When I returned on Thursday the first person I saw was Kev. And at training there are a lot of them there from last year, with a few new faces as well.

‘The best part is, having been here before, I know what the manager wants, which gives me an advantage.

‘It is much easier than going somewhere and you have to get to know all the players and the coaching staff and how they want you to play.

‘I can just slot into it and, hopefully, get a relationship back with the players and kick on from there.

‘It’s just great being back with everyone again. My aim is now to get into the team, work hard and score goals.’

Drennan remains fondly remembered by Pompey fans for his two goals against Dagenham & Redbridge during his first spell.

At the time embroiled in a relegation battle, the striker was recalled to the side and asked to play on the right of an attacking three behind lone frontmanRyan Taylor.

He responded with a brace – the second a magnificent shot from distance – as Awford’s men ran out 4-1 winners at the home of the Daggers.

Drennan marked his second Pompey debut on Saturday, appearing as a 62nd-minute substitute for Patrick Agyemang in the goalless draw at Hartlepool.

Time to create new memories for the Blues then – but the irishman will never forget Dagenham & Redbridge.

He added: ‘Dagenham was definitely my best game for Portsmouth in that first spell, it was a good performance.

‘I have actually scored better goals than that second one, especially with Villa, and scored some good goals in Ireland as well.

‘But that has to be up there because it was a competitive game.

‘At Dagenham, it was the first time I had played on the wing for a couple of years. I used to be a winger when I was younger but had become a striker.

‘But I can also play as that striker up there, and if the ball is over the top I back myself to keep getting in behind them.

‘That is my game, working hard and using my movement getting in behind defenders.

‘I’d like to think when I am in the box I come alive to situations so hopefully I can show that now I’m back here at Fratton Park.’