Pompey boss makes triallist pledge

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has insisted triallists will be kept to a minimum when Pompey’s pre-season kicks off.

The new-look Blues squad return to training on Thursday in preparation for the forthcoming campaign.

They will contain the six summer signings so far, among them Nicky Shorey and Jed Wallace, who penned new deals.

Bradley Tarbuck and Ben Close will also be in attendance – having been awarded first-year professional forms – while fellow Academy products Nick Awford and Jack Maloney remain at the club.

However, Pompey’s boss has ruled out the large-scale presence of triallists.

In recent years a sizeable amount of players have trained with the club bidding to win a deal, with a specially-arranged match against Aldershot even organised last summer.

But this time round, the Blues will be focusing on those under contract.

Awford said: ‘The players are back on Thursday and there will be two days of training, the weekend off, then a full two weeks.

‘Every contracted player will be here for that first day and while there will be one
or two triallists to have a 
look at, it won’t be anything like the numbers we had last year.

‘I think last year was very difficult because Guy (Whittingham) was trying to sign 26 players which was such a hard job – an impossible job really when you look back on it.

‘So there might be one or two to come, but nothing like the numbers of last year.

‘If you count up our squad at the moment, I have the nucleus already.

‘It’s about topping that up for next season.’

Danny Hollands, Nigel Atangana, Craig Westcarr and Paul Jones have also joined the club this summer.