Nicky Shorey believes his move to Pompey has reignited his passion for the game.
The 33-year-old Blues left-back turned in a trademark unruffled performance in the 6-1 pre-season victory over Bognor as Andy Awford’s side secured their second comprehensive friendly success.
Ryan Taylor, Miles Storey, Danny Hollands, Bradley Tarbuck, Andy Barcham and Jed Wallace netted the goals as Pompey eased to the win, with Alex Parsons grabbing the Rocks consolation in front of a bumper crowd of well in excess of 2,000.
Signed by previous boss, Richie Barker from Bristol City in January, Shorey perhaps could have been forgiven for easing down a career that saw him capped twice by England and play at the top level for Reading, Aston Villa, Fulham and West Brom.
But even in League Two and after a friendly at local non-league opposition, he insists his motivation for the game has been rekindled by his move to Fratton Park.
And he is determined to play his part in helping to lead the club’s revival.
Shorey said: ‘Coming here has been a massive thing for me on a motivation side of it.
‘It has reignited it even more from the previous couple of years.
‘I’ve enjoyed it immensely with the lads, the fans and playing at Fratton Park.
‘It has kept me going and as soon as they wanted me to stay, I was delighted to sign up for another year.
‘We all want to try to keep that momentum going from the end of last season.
‘We had some really good games and it felt good to win again because we hadn’t had that feeling for most of it.
‘So it was good to end on that note but now it’s up to us to get that going again.
‘Hopefully, we can carry that on.’
During the dark days of Barker’s reign, Shorey remained positive that things would change.
And he insisted he never regretted his decision to join a relegation battle.
He said: ‘Honestly, I never thought I’d made a mistake.
‘Even when we were struggling, I was still enjoying it.
‘Coming in and working with this group of lads, they made me feel welcome straight away. It’s not always that way at certain clubs.
‘But it really felt like everyone was mucking in together.’
The experienced campaigner also played down the importance of two comfortable wins from their first two fixtures.
He said: ‘I’ve definitely had a couple of embarrassing defeats to non-league teams in pre-season in my career.
‘But I’ve had the other ones when you have gone unbeaten through pre-season and you think you are flying and then you lose the first game.
‘People can look into pre-season how they want but the main thing for us is to have that fitness and to step it up.
‘But the lads have been working really hard in training and it’s pleasing to see us bringing that into games.’