Defender to depart Pompey

Sonny Bradley   Picture: Joe Pepler
Sonny Bradley Picture: Joe Pepler

Sonny Bradley will today join Crawley as Andy Awford continues to overhaul his Pompey squad.

The 22-year-old was told he was surplus to requirements at the end of the Blues’ season, with Awford heavy on central defensive numbers.

Now he will complete a switch to John Gregory’s League One outfit, pending the outcome of a medical this morning.

In doing so it will allow Pompey’s boss the scope to bring in his own defensive signing to join Jack Whatmough, Ben Chorley and Joe Devera as options.

The Blues will receive a small fee, which could free finances to aid the recruitment of Nigel Atangana from the Hawks – while the signing of Craig Westcarr is imminent.

For Bradley, it ends just a season at Fratton Park, following last summer’s arrival from Hull.

He will depart with 12 months still left on the deal he signed and it remains to be seen the extent of any potential transfer fee negotiated with the Reds.

With tall, left-sided central defenders largely a rarity in the game, his stock is reasonably high, prompting interest from a club in the division above.

Gregory’s current defensive pairing of Joe Walsh and Kyle McFadzean are sought after and widely anticipated to be sold this summer as other clubs coming calling.

The recruitment of Bradley will help fill that void as well as provide the chance of first-team football he would not be getting at the Blues.

His Fratton exit completes a see-saw south coast stay which started so impressively, after being snapped up by Guy Whittingham.

He started 31 of the first 32 matches last season, establishing himself as arguably the club’s best performer during most of that period.

The sole match he missed was through the racking up of five bookings.

Following the arrival of Chorley under Richie Barker, however, Bradley lost his place and was only ever a bit-part player for the remainder of the campaign.

The emergence of Whatmough and the return to form of fellow defender Bondz N’Gala only succeeded in keeping him at arm’s length from the first team.

He did start the 1-0 victory at Northampton and made a crucial impact off the bench at Bury as an emergency centre-forward, wrongly awarded one of the goals in the 4-4 thriller.

The writing was on the wall, though, when Bradley failed to make the final squad of the season for the 3-3 home draw with Plymouth.

Other than suspension, it was the only time he didn’t make the Pompey match-day 18 during the campaign.

Told he could leave the club if there were takers, the ex-Hull apprentice’s agent has been searching for alternatives.

Now, after 38 appearances and one goal, he is heading out of Fratton Park.