Fratton challenge excites latest Pompey recruit

Andy Barcham has sealed his move to Pompey. Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131304-5)
Andy Barcham has sealed his move to Pompey. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131304-5)

Andy Barcham toasted becoming Pompey’s newest recruit and admitted: The challenge excites me.

The 26-year-old became summer signing number 11 for Guy Whittingham after yesterday putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

A pacy and skilful left-winger, his arrival will equip the Blues boss with the genuine width he’s been desperate to add to his squad.

Barcham made 38 appearances for Scunthorpe this season – almost a third of which came from the bench – as their League One campaign ended in relegation.

He revealed staying on at Glanford Park had initially been broached, with his contract there up this summer, but he was keen to explore pastures new.

Now the former Spurs apprentice is relishing the opportunity to spearhead Pompey’s drive to climb out of League Two.

He said: ‘It was an easy decision to make. I knew what to expect, really, because you do with a club like Portsmouth.

‘It really is a fantastic place. I got a good vibe and can’t wait to start and get out there.

‘The club’s problems have been well-documented but I think it is superb how it is all getting sorted now and everyone is trying to build a new project and try to go forward.

‘That is something I find exciting.

‘I just fancied a new challenge and when this came up as an offer it was fantastic.

‘It would have been so hard to turn down – everything about the place when I was shown around is great.

‘It’s something I want to be part of it. The chance to take the club forward really appeals to me and I want to be part of that.

‘At Scunthorpe, there have been talks about a new contract.

‘Players will stay, some are leaving, we had our own problems last season and got relegated so there are going to be changes.

‘But I just felt it was right for a fresh start.’

Barcham has spent the past two seasons with the Iron.

Before that he made 116 appearances and scored 23 times for Gillingham, after joining from boyhood heroes Spurs.

During that Priestfield Stadium stay, the Gills were promoted via the League Two play-offs, with Barcham one of their key performers.

He moved to Scunthorpe in the summer of 2011 when his contract expired, although managed just 45 minutes against Pompey this season.

He was an unused substitute when Michael Appleton’s men defeated them 2-1 back in September at Fratton Park.

And he came off injured at half-time in the reverse fixture in February, which ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Blues.

Barcham added: ‘I have played at Fratton Park before.

‘When I did, the one thing that was apparent was the fans – they are so passionate and I think that’s great.

‘I can’t wait to get started on it all now. I’m really looking forward to the season.’