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No reserve football this season

Pompey have opted against taking a place in the combination league central division this season, and as such will not play reserve team football against the likes of Crawley, Aldershot, Leyton Orient, Brentford, Brighton, Palace and Gillingham...

The reserve team - as has happened in the past, to our cost - has been 'scrapped' for the season ahead with the club preferring to loan out youngsters instead of limiting them to reserve team football.

Maybe I am old fashioned but there is something about having a 'reserve team' that just seems a part of football - then again football is ever changing, sometimes for the better although sadly, for me in many ways, for the worse...

So, I know that I will miss not having a reserve team around - that said with the way our squad is looking would we actually have enough players to put out a reserve side anyway?

With the amount of players that have been released and sold, or will be sold, the 1st team numbers have/will dropped again this summer, as they have drastically over the past 18-months or so, so what would have been reserve players are now actually part of the 1st team squad, and the academy side could not have been expected to fulfil their commitments and the ressies too could they!

You 'rarely' see 1st team players in the reserves these days anyway, those that are do so merely to bridge that step-up gap, work on their fitness or do this as they are not in the 1st team picture - with the ability to arrange 'behind closed doors' friendlies, these can be used for fitness purposes.

As said I am a fan of reserve football but in all honesty you cannot beat 1st team football can you!

So, by sending those that have moved up from the academy, are on the fringes of the 1st team but are not quite ready yet for this here out on loan 'should' in theory only benefit them - the drawback is these players will become accustomed to 1st team football and in the modern era of patience not really being a virtue how long will players hand around at Fratton after these loan spells before they decide they have had enough and will look to move on?

Also, not everyone can be involved in the 1st team, and we cannot literally carry a skeleton squad (if possible) of 17, we would need a good 20, at least, around the club all the time to cover for injuries and suspensions - this will, of course, leave a surplus of at least 3 players, maybe more, each week that are getting no 1st team or reserve team football at all, so in terms of the financial thinking what are they actually doing, bar training, to earn their money?

That said I would hope that whatever squad we do end up this season will be utilised to its full, so it will not be a case of favourites play every week, so what happens in games and in training does contribute to who is involved as well, and this will be shaken up accordingly...

The News says that the club say this is not driven purely by a 'financial decision', this would have played a part in it of course, but with all due respect to those that the ressies would come up against perhaps this is the right call to make - and to be fair many other clubs are also taking this step too.

All in all though I do not think that we would have, in all honesty, enough players to be able to maintain a 1st team and reserve team anyway.

Hopefully this does remain only a temporary 'short-term' measure though and as we get ourselves back on our feet again, in spite of the benefits to be gained from sending players out on loan for regular 1st team football as opposed to 2nd string outings, this will be an area that returns down the line as I do think in the 'long-term' you do need to have a bridge gap between the academy and 1st team level, and that is also what the reserve team acts as...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 7 2010

Time: 1:10PM

Your Comments

I don't care how they dress this up it's a financial decision, Pompey will not have a sufficient squad size to run a 1st and reserve team. Top clubs all have string reserve teams as they believe in strength in depth and by using the reserve team they can get players prep'd fro the first team strategy and start to blend their youth team into first team atmosphere. With all due respect Stoke and QPR are not big teams and both are run on extremely tight budgets. The other team mentioned in the News article as qouted by SC was spurs but has openly said he believes youth development is not particularly cost effective- well spurs have a very large and well funded youth policy so he can afford to let an over size squad go on loan. Also well Mr 10% Harry. Lumpitt and Cotterille need to be a bit truthfull now i m h o if they continue they will start to lose a bit of credibility.
I also think it will encourage complacency; why put the effort in if there is no possibility of being replaced? :-) whinge over
what we have to remember is the chances are we will have, what 25 players MAX this season - and that includes, arguably half of that number being academy graduates that are not 'really' ready for 1st team football, others that are will be in the 1st team squad...
after wedding out the players that are 'too good for the ressies' but 'not good enough, or prepared enough for the 1st team here' yet, the obvious step is to loan them out - say we have half a dozen of them i reckon we will be left with a 1st team squad of around 19-20 players for cotterill to select from this season.
17 will be involved for each game, that leaves 2-3 that will train but nothing else, altho i WOULD think that all 19-20 players WILL play a part this season.
so, in all reality could we really 'risk' putting 11 of these players out in the ressies every other week, if not would we 'really' have enough players to do this...
as said in the 'short-term' i think this is ok, but it MUST only be a short-term thing as down the line we will need the ressies to be the bridge gap from the academy to the 1st team, for a year or so before these kids are even ready to think of getting into another clubs 1st team on loan, let alone ours.
the worry is this is a worrying slope, which may become a slippery one to the whole set-up of this club crumbling - it is ok doing away with the ressies for a year or so, but any longer and we will do away with the academy set-up next and THAT is vital to our future!
1968...we have been here before...Pat Wright looking after Waterlooville, then the FA put paid to it. 1. this is a financial situation based decision without a doubt, however, 2. Its one I agree with at the moment. We are not going to be obvious contenders to get promotion and possibly look to be set to replace the red zebra's in Lg1..if we are to leave the championship at all, so we need to sort out the finances. sadly I feel the club is now effectively crippled with debt and it looks very unlikely that we will ever return to the heights we had recently known. 3. I do not care, as long as there is a Pompey. 4. I think SC will do a good job given time.
plymouth graham
Short term gain, Long term disaster.
The Rabbi
From Pompey's point of view I'm not that concerned, I don't even know if we'll have enough players to field a reserve side. But its a great shame for Havant & W'ville, who rent their ground to Pompey for their reserve fixtures. But its a pragmatic financial decision for Pompey and probably makes sense. We're not the only club to make this decision either.

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