Hawks keeper steps up to fill Pompey gap

Scott Bevan. Picture: Sarah Standing (141940-3034)
Scott Bevan. Picture: Sarah Standing (141940-3034)

Pompey have turned to Scott Bevan as they close in on their new goalkeeping coach.

The Hawks stopper yesterday put new recruits Paul Jones and Michael Poke through their paces for the start of pre-season training.

As the Pompey Academy’s goalkeeping coach, the 34-year-old has stepped up to temporarily fill the gap in Awford’s staff.

In the meantime, the Blues boss has identified the man he wants for a role which was taken up by four different people last season.

But with his preferred choice not quite ready to make the move to Fratton Park, it’s Bevan who has stepped up to deputise.

Awford said: ‘Paul Jones and Michael Poke yesterday worked with Scott Bevan, who is the current Academy goalkeeping coach.

‘He is very experienced and is doing some work with them for the first few days of pre-season until the senior goalkeeping coach comes in.

‘It is about as and when that person can get here.

‘I know who it is and there is a process it has to take.

‘The staff is pretty set, the line-up is how we finished last season so that is no different, it’s just a case of adding in the goalkeeping coach, which we have always known about and will get it sorted out as soon as we can.’

Alan Knight, Dave Coles, Phil Smith and Anthony Williams all occupied the role last season and Awford has spent the summer scouring for a replacement.

Inevitably he is keen for stability, especially following the departure of all three of last year’s keepers – and the arrival of two new faces in Jones and Poke.

Meanwhile, one player missing from yesterday at the University of Portsmouth was Tom Craddock.

The 27-year-old has endured an injury-hit time since moving to Fratton Park last summer and has not played since November.

A knee operation followed but he is not ready to return to training.

In his absence, Ryan Taylor, Patrick Agyemang, Ryan Bird, David Connolly and Craig Westcarr were the strikers on display in training yesterday.

And Awford has pledged not to rush Craddock back.

He added: ‘The only contracted player not out there yesterday was Tom because of his long-standing injury. He is on his rehabilitation.

‘We will take Tom at his own pace. Obviously he has had a serious knee injury so we won’t rush him. He will come back into the fold when he is ready.

‘It is about as and when he is ready and the physio is guiding me on that.’