Date:Saturday December 4 2010
Matty Ritchie is not the only Pompey youngster out on loan, and out on loan impressing I might add!
A certain Marlon Pack, who may well have been forgotten by some already, is strutting his stuff in the lower leagues and making an impression along the way...
The local lad, who if nothing else at least got to represent his hometown club - and scored one of the finest penalties in a shootout that I have seen, under immense pressure - has just been named Cheltenham's player of the month for November.
Well done Marlon.
The Cheltenham Site said: 'the 19 year-old, who is on loan from Portsmouth until the end of the season, featured in all five November matches and has impressed the Robins faithful with his precision passing and combative midfield displays.'
Votes were cast all week and the midfielder picked up the monthly award, which he said was an 'honour'. He now hopes to build on this: 'it's a great honour especially because I'm only a loan signing here.
'It took me a while to get into the team because I had a slow start but I think I have improved and I'd like to thank the supporters for making me player of the month.
'While I was out of the team my main focus was to always get myself into the starting line-up and, when I was there, to work as hard as I possibly could to stay there. The main reason for me coming here was to learn and become a better player. Hopefully I can continue to put in some good performances and work hard for this club.'
Pack also answered some questions put to him by Cheltenham fans, in one he said that Steve Cotterill had told he that 'he had faith in him as a player' so this helped him step up his performance levels after a 'difficult' start to his loan.
As far as his 'long-term chances of establishing himself' at Pompey go he is hopeful, but also wants to be realistic: 'establishing myself as a Portsmouth player is obviously my main aim. I have played for several different clubs on loan now and I have racked up near enough 40 league appearances so it's all about learning and improving.
'I have to be realistic with my chances and if I'm not going to be playing then we'll have to see what happens at the end of the season.'
To be honest, as much as I would like it not to be the case, if Marlon returned to Pompey at the end of the season for any other reason than to clear out his locker I would be 'surprised'.
I would like him to have a long-term future with the club, and be offered a new contract, but if someone like Matty Ritchie - who would 'probably' be considered a better prospect - is 'surplus to requirements' what chance has Pack got?
All he can do is keep his head down, keep performing and see what happens.
If all else fails then I would 'think' that he will find himself offered a contract with Cheltenham if we do not offer him a new one, so at least he 'should' have a club next season come what may...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
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