Paul Cook: Conor Chaplin’s Pompey’s future hope

PAUL COOK has heralded Conor Chaplin as Pompey’s attacking future.

And Cook believes news of the starlet committing himself to the Blues can further the feel-good factor at the club.

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Chaplin yesterday put pen to paper on a new deal at Fratton Park until 2018.

That’s a two-year extension on his current agreement which ran until the end of the season.

The new contract is reward for the Worthing ace’s flying form in the opening to the campaign.

Chaplin has grabbed four goals to date, including high-profile Capital One Cup strikes against Championship opposition in Derby and Reading.

The reputation of the club is growing around exciting young players like Conor being here.

Paul Cook

That has seen the Academy graduate’s profile raised as his goalscoring instinct comes to the fore.

A host of scouts were at Saturday’s clash with Oxford United, with running the rule over the 18-year-old high on their agendas.

Chaplin has publicly stated his desire to remain at the club he has been at since the age of six, however.

And now he has shown his commitment to Pompey by quickly inking his new terms.

That’s more positive news for Cook and his side – something the Blues boss is keen to utilise.

Cook said: ‘Conor deserves great credit for the way he has performed, and he has a bright future here.

‘He’s a smashing kid and he has a great appetite for the game.

‘We’ve seen that so far this season.

‘He’s enjoying his football and I am enjoying working with him.

‘Going forward we want as much positivity around the club as possible.

‘And ensuring players like Conor are here for the long term allows that to happen.

‘The reputation of the club is growing around exciting young players like Conor being here.’

There was more good news for Chaplin yesterday when it emerged his shin injury is not serious.

He was withdrawn after 29 minutes of Saturday’s 1-1 draw and replaced by Matt Tubbs.

But Chaplin is expected to be back in contention for the trip to Bristol Rovers this weekend.

It’s the determination to play and improve himself which has caught Cook’s eye since he became manager.

He feels the teenager’s attitude and emergence this season is a lesson to other young players.

Cook said: ‘Conor conducts himself really well.

‘He works hard in training and his application is always absolutely spot on.

‘Every day he is working, and that’s the pleasing thing for me.

‘When it gets to the latter stages of games Conor can keep going because he puts the work in.

‘He conducts himself in the manner you would hope a young professional would.’