Pompey want loan homes for duo

Jack Maloney, right, and Nick Awford. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131047-3466)
Jack Maloney, right, and Nick Awford. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131047-3466)
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For Jack Maloney and Nick Awford it is another opportunity to prove their Pompey worth.

Now the club are seeking potential loan takers as they put their patience in the out-of-contract teenage duo.

Last month the Blues announced the first-year professionals would be offered fresh terms, following the end of their existing deals.

Maloney, who made 10 first-team appearances in 2012-13, featured for just one minute last term and was included in just four senior squads.

As for Awford, who previously had one substitute appearance under his belt, he didn’t make a single Pompey match-day 18 last season.

The home-grown pair suffered added disappointment when injury curtailed time earmarked for their development at Lewes and Bognor respectively.

The Blues, however, are convinced there remains potential to be unlocked.

And boss Andy Awford is searching for loan homes to enable them to flourish in the forthcoming campaign.

‘There are still ongoing talks with Jack and Nick,’ said the manager.

‘We are trying to do something with them in terms of loaning them out next season.

‘They had such indifferent seasons last year for lots of reasons and we didn’t really get the opportunity to see their full potential.

‘As a result, the club feels they deserve the chance to show their ability.

‘Both of them were affected by injuries last season and didn’t get the rub of the green – it didn’t quite happen for whatever reason.

‘As a club we feel it’s not really right to just release them just yet. Jack went to Lewes and was doing well, having been given the opportunity, but a stomach problem put him out for eight weeks at the end of the season.

‘Nick went to Bognor and was doing well and they were really pleased with him. He had a couple of good games around Christmas time.

‘Then he broke his toe, putting him out for eight weeks, and it came at the wrong time. So we are looking to keep them and looking to juggle the cost of their wages.

‘They aren’t on too much money and if a loan club can cover that then it is something we want to do.

‘They need a decent standard of football to prove they can cut it and we’re speaking to a few clubs at the moment.

‘We’re just waiting to see what happens and if there is any real interest in the pair of them.’

The anticipated return of reserve-team football to the fixture list can also benefit the duo next season.

Those first-year professionals stuck between the Pompey Academy and senior squad are these days largely starved of regular football.

Instead, they have to make do with the occasional development group friendly, sporadically organised.

Yet the re-emergence of a reserve league will provide precious game time – in addition to a loan elsewhere.

Awford added: ‘Your loaned out players can come back to play in a reserve league.

‘Obviously, their loan club will take priority if they have a match at the same time but otherwise we can also field 
them.

‘That can only help youngsters’ development and the new league is something we are very interested in.’