Recruitment chief calls for fans not to panic over player signings

Michael Appleton has a wish list of potential new Pompey signings
Michael Appleton has a wish list of potential new Pompey signings

Pompey’s new recruitment chief urged fans not to panic and insisted: We’ve got plenty of player targets.

And Luke Dowling is adamant signings are ready to pledge their future to Fratton Park once the Football League give the go ahead.

The 33-year-old has this week been made the Blues’ head of recruitment after leaving Crystal Palace.

Ironically, Dowling’s appointment comes at a time the Football League have reiterated the club will not be allowed to bring in any new players.

This will remain the case until high earners are removed from the £9.5m wage bill.

Regardless, Dowling has been presented with the remit of scouting the quality to strengthen the Blues’ squad.

He has already drawn up a wish list with Pompey boss Michael Appleton as they continue to line-up potential signings for the new season.

And he has promised supporters, players are ready to join the club once the Football League give the green light.

He said: ‘The Football League’s embargo is frustrating but obviously it does not mean we aren’t carrying out work to bring players in.

‘We are continuing to speak to players and as soon as we get the go-ahead those players identified will come in.

‘Michael’s phone doesn’t stop ringing.

‘That shows people want to come to this football club and that is the important thing.

‘He had targets before I came in and I have now added to that.

‘If we can get what we want then I know we’ll have a good team who can achieve good results.

‘Sooner or later we are going to be allowed to bring players in.

‘Whether that’s July, August or two weeks before the season, it is going to happen – and we are ready.

‘You will see within a few days of getting the green light one or two will come in straight away.

‘We have identified players who are aware of our interest in them and we are aware of their interest in coming to play for us.

‘Unfortunately there are a few obstacles in the way but as soon as we get the all-clear we’ll have people ringing us up and knocking on our door.’

Dowling arrived at Palace from AFC Wimbledon in January 2011 and became chief scout before his exit.

Formerly a schoolboy footballer at Spurs and Reading, he dropped into non-league to play for Sutton United and Kingstonian before becoming manager at Walton Casuals.

Now, after being ratified by the Football League, he has joined Pompey to help Appleton rebuild.

And his player findings will be passed onto Appleton to have the final say.

He added: ‘There is a big challenge here and it is very, very exciting.

‘I’ll be meeting the players and the rest of the staff at training on Monday and I cannot wait.

‘We are working under strict guidelines but we are working hard.’