Transfers are an education for Pompey boss

Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford admitted he’s learning at the sharp end when it comes to transfer negotiations.

But the Pompey boss backed himself to make an impact when convincing players to join his Fratton revloution.

Awford has found himself in talks with a string of players as he plots his course forward for next season.

That has been an education for the 41-year-old in his first senior role in league management.

Awford has called on his wealth of contacts from his time in the game to utilise their experience in the process of buying players.

The likes of Jim Smith have passed on their thoughts to the Blues manager as he soaks up their pearls of wisdom.

Awford explained he is using a common-sense approach as he goes about bringing in the recruits he feels will bolster his squad.

Playing that game is a process which needs a strategy in his eyes, as he strikes a balance between showing a player he is wanted and not chasing too keenly.

He is confident, however, it will pay off when it comes to assembling the squad he wants for the new campaign.

Awford said: ‘It can be a little bit tactical.

‘I’m new to it and am doing what I think is best.

‘I’ve spoken to people about how they conducted their business.

‘Some have said this is a good idea and others have said no.

‘But when I speak to people I’d like to think that’s one of my strong points.

‘When you speak to the player, in my opinion, you don’t want to talk to them and not talk to them for another two weeks.

‘By the same token, you don’t want to be all over them every minute of every day.

‘You have to give them the space to look at other areas and clubs but you don’t want them asking why we haven’t spoke to them for a few days.

‘You have to show that intent. At the end of the day if we want a player and they want to come, tactics go out of the way.

‘If we are in for them and they want to go somewhere else you can save a lot of time by being honest and up front. That’s where it’s at for me.’

Awford explained he is happy to utilise all the resources he can when it comes to bringing in new players.

A key contact in that area is player recruitment consultant Darren Simmons.

Simmons, through his Football Executives business, has offered support for Pompey bosses since the club became the biggest fan-owned outfit in the United Kingdom last year.

Awford stated that is an avenue for players he is more than happy to continue utilising.

And Simmons is someone he regularly stays in contact with over players who could possibly be available.

Awford said: ‘Darren is still there.

‘He’s in contact. I wouldn’t say it’s daily but he can help.

‘If he can help in any way then he will.

‘He’s not a deal-maker or deal-breaker.

‘He’s a guy we know and trust who wants to help the club.

‘He is someone with contacts galore through his business.

‘If we need his help to talk to a player or a club we can call him and he has no problem helping us.

‘You need all the help you can get.

‘Anyone we can call upon, including Darren, we will use if they can help.’