Pompey defender keen to vacate unwanted seat

Ben Chorley. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Chorley. Picture: Joe Pepler

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The seat is ready to be vacated – it’s time to get back scrapping among the muck and bullets.

Ben Chorley is relishing the chance to ditch the uncomfortable spectator act he loathes and return to the football pitch.

Pompey’s skipper is nearing his first-team return after he was sidelined by a dead leg and then a calf injury.

The setbacks have conspired to keep the central defender out for the last five matches, forcing him to take residence in the stands.

Now back in training, though, the end is within sight.

And it’s a blessed relief for a player who despises watching from the sidelines.

Chorley said: ‘I don’t think any player is a good spectator.

‘Show me a player who enjoys being on the bench or the sidelines and he can’t want to be that much of a footballer. I have always found it hard.

‘You can get a Kevin Phillips or a striker who says it is great off the bench.

‘I suppose it is when you are someone like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United and you know you are coming on to score a goal every other game.

‘But I have never seen a defender or a centre-half or a central midfielder worth any salt that doesn’t mind being a sub.

‘I was watching us at Southend the other day and tried to change my seat – it was too tight to be honest.

‘I had Mark Catlin come and sit in front of me, so it was definitely time for a change!

‘Then their chairman wouldn’t let me sit where I wanted to sit, so I ended up sat halfway up on the Southend side but we didn’t score so I didn’t jump up.

‘Apparently their chairman doesn’t like anyone behind him. There was a row of seats there but he didn’t want me to sit there.

‘From my original seat’s angle, I couldn’t really see the game.

‘I was too low and there was a fella next to me who kept shouting silly stuff, so I thought I would move.

‘He was a Southend fan. He kept standing up. He was unbelievable.

‘I just don’t enjoy watching it at any time, though.’

It has been a highly-frustrating period for Chorley – battling injury to return to the side.

He has played five of the Blues’ 12 matches so far this season and an outing at Hartlepool may also be too soon.

Having not featured for the reserves in the 2-2 draw with Luton on Tuesday, it would suggest as much

That fixture saw Nigel Atangana and Nick Awford make their returns from injury and challenge for Saturday’s long trip.

Chorley, though, has no intention of hanging around when he is ready to resume his playing duties.

He added: ‘Touch wood I have never had a serious injury but two or three weeks does me in, honestly.

‘At the end of the season we won five in a row when I was suspended for four games and I am happy and over the moon we stayed up.

‘It’s great watching your mates do well in matches.

‘But as soon as you are fit again, I am knocking on his door wanting to play.

‘Not everyone’s like that – but I am.’