Loans are right move for young guns

Pompey youngster Dan Butler has went to Aldershot on loan
Pompey youngster Dan Butler has went to Aldershot on loan

SHAUN Cooper believes the time is right for Pompey’s young guns to become loan stars.

Dan Butler and Ashley Harris yesterday left Fratton Park in their search for first-team football.

Harris and development squad midfielder Nick Awford have linked up with team-mate Josh Warren at Skrill South outfit Chelmsford.

And Butler stepped up his chase for regular action as he moved to Skrill Premier side Aldershot, where Adam Webster is featuring.

With Liam Triggs and George Branford at Southern League premier side AFC Totton, a host of youngsters are now gaining experience away from Fratton Park.

Cooper wished that was a path he took sooner in his career during its formative days.

And the 30-year-old believes its a decision the likes of Harris and Butler will not regret.

‘Dan made a lot of appearances last season,’ said Cooper.

‘I think going out on loan is what he needs to do now. I get on well with Dan and will speak to him if he needs advice.

‘But he is strong-minded lad and has a good attitude. He should be okay.

‘I was playing in the game against Crawley when Ashley came on and scored and it was the tele.

‘I remember thinking that he is a good, young player – and he is.

‘But you know how it is for managers, they have to lean towards experience a lot of the time.

‘If these boys want a chat, I’m here to talk.’

Meanwhile, Cooper has called on Pompey to maintain the consistency which is making a difference to their season against Exeter.

The versatile talent admitted he is at a loss to explain why solid form has now arrived for his side.

He feels teams lifting themselves for trips to Fratton Park could have been a factor in their up and down early-season form – something they have to guard against when they face Exeter.

Cooper said: ‘To be honest, I don’t know why it is!

‘I think we’ve been unlucky with some results.

‘I missed the York game but heard about it, but some of the defeats before that were a little unfortunate.

‘The consistency of your hard work and application is everything.

‘In this league you go to some places and they are rubbish stadiums with no fans. Then you come to us and there is a nice pitch, big stadium and loads of fans.

‘You will be miles more up for that game.

‘It should be an advantage that we are doing it here every other week.

‘We have to make it work to our advantage.’