It took three-and-a-half years but Moutaouakil finally has his Pompey spot

02/02/13''Portsmouth take on Colchester United at Fratton Park. Yassin Moutaouakil'Picture: ian hargreaves  (13294-13)
02/02/13''Portsmouth take on Colchester United at Fratton Park. Yassin Moutaouakil'Picture: ian hargreaves (13294-13)

Eugen Bopp was the sole survivor from the summer of 2009 influx of triallists.

Others such as Modeste M’Bami, Fabrice Pancrate and Thierry Audel were not so fortunate.

Then-Pompey boss Paul Hart elected not to follow up his interest and they swiftly departed.

Another shown the door was Charlton right-back Yassin Moutaouakil.

Ahead of a potential loan spell, the Frenchman featured in two starts and two substitute appearances, including attending the pre-season tour to Guimaraes.

Yet he was also informed there would be no permanent stay and, in little over a week, he had gone.

That was until January – almost three-and-a-half years later.

Invited to a second Pompey trial by physio Steve Allen, a link back to their Charlton days together, Moutaouakil was swiftly signed up.

Now 12 appearances on he has established himself as a regular in Guy Whittingham’s side.

The financial climate means his deal is only month-to-month but finally he has managed to stick around at Fratton Park.

Moutaouakil said: ‘I remember a lot of stuff from when I was here last time.

‘I was there training for one week and we went to Portugal for pre-season.

‘The club was in the Premier League and I was training with Kranjcar, James, Kaboul and Distin – a lot of big names – and now it is obviously different.

‘Kev the Kitman and the massage man (Colin Clement) are still there, you can see three years ago to now they haven’t given up.

‘Back then, one of the games I played was against Benfica in Portugal and we lost 4-0. It was a really, really hard game but was a very good experience.

‘We left after that. I don’t think he (Hart) kept any players on trial. He kept the same players they already had.

‘I went to the office with Paul Hart and the first thing he said – and he didn’t take long to say it – was “we have nothing to offer you”. And I left.

‘I was disappointed but it was a straight answer and I liked that because he didn’t give me any excuses. So that’s how it was.

‘I did all right when I was there. I wasn’t amazing, I wasn’t rubbish, I just did my job and it didn’t work out. That’s all.

‘I followed them week in, week out to see what they were doing for a couple of months, maybe a year, but then I had to move on with my own football.

‘Now I’m back here and that’s why you never know what is going to happen in football.’

Bopp remained at Fratton Park for that 2009-10 campaign, with Hart at one point exploring giving him a contract only to discover the club were bound by a transfer embargo.

Another player, Onismor Bhasera, was unable to sign over a contract dispute with his South African club.

The rest went their separate ways, although Audel did sign for non-league Macclesfield Town in January.

And former Hayes & Yeading full-back Moutaouakil is glad to have returned.

He added: ‘I’m really happy to come back here.

‘It didn’t work out a few years ago, it’s working now and I want to do well.

‘A few years ago Portsmouth were in the Premier League and to be fair I was thinking something would happen, it didn’t. That’s how football is. Now I’m really happy to play for Portsmouth.’