Coach makes surprise Pompey return
Dave Coles has returned to Pompey as goalkeeping coach.
The 49-year-old was today back training with the club he previously served for four-and-a-half years.
During that time he oversaw David James’ return as England number one and also the emergence of Asmir Begovic.
But after being on the Blues coaching staff for two FA Cup finals, Coles followed Avram Grant to West Ham in the summer of 2010.
More recently he has spent three years coaching in Dubai but has now come back to England.
As a result he has linked-up with Guy Whittingham at Fratton Park in an open-ended agreement.
He will replace Phil Smith in the role, who has been standing in since Alan Knight was moved aside.
And Whittingham believes it is something of a coup for the club.
He said: ‘David is back from Dubai and wants to help out, so starts today.
‘He contacted me a couple of weeks ago and said he was back permanently from Dubai and was there anything I could offer him?
‘This is a top, top goalkeeping coach who was in the Premier League three years ago and looked after England’s number one.
‘He’s a great guy as well, prepares thoroughly and takes no quarters – a good addition.
‘It’s an open-ended agreement, so we will see how it goes.’
Coles will be overseeing Trevor Carson, John Sullivan and Smith in the goalkeeping ranks.
And while Smith has stepped aside from his caretaker role, the Blues boss believes it will benefit the 33-year-old.
Whittingham added: ‘It is early days for Phil as a coach.
‘And it’s great for him to have one of the best ones around to study and learn from.’