Date:Monday July 4 2011
It is something that I know plenty of us have wanted for some time, so the fact that it has now happened in some capacity will please most!
Alan McLoughlin is back at Pompey.
He returns as a senior academy coach.
Macca will work with his former teammate, and now head of the academy, Andy Awford. He told The Pompey Site this: 'Alan will join us because I've identified the need within the academy to have someone who can provide the knowledge that the lads weren't getting at schoolboy level.
'Our academy players could control, pass and move, but there was limited understanding of what it takes to progress to the levels required to hopefully become a first-team player.
'Alan will provide that link for me between apprentices and schoolboys.'
Having left the club at the end of 1999 there have been times in the past when Macca 'might' have returned although various people put obstacles in his way, perhaps designed to ensure that he did not. You 'might' recall a brief interview that we had with Macca back along when he eluded to such events...
Anyway he is back, and is more than happy to be back: 'this is something I've been itching to do, to come in and help develop the club's young players.
'The period from the age of 14 to getting a scholarship at 16 is a massive one for any young player - it was key to me when I was a youngster at Manchester United.
'I sing off the same hymn sheet as Andy Awford about how things should be for young players, so along with the other coaches like Ian Buckman and Paul Hardyman, there's a real sense of taking things forward.
'When I left Pompey in December 1999 it was probably one of the worst days of my life, so it's fantastic to come back.'
In all honesty part of me would have rather had Macca involved in the 1st team coaching set-up, although I suspect that he is, how can I put this, perhaps too opinionated for Steve Cotterill's liking so that 'probably' would not have worked out!
This though, for me, is another step in the right direction for our long-term future and our chances of becoming far more self-sufficient in the years ahead.
As for the other goings on today, well there has not really been much, on the face of it anyway that said development are being made I think...
Apparently things have further developed as far as Luke Varney and Stephen Henderson are concerned and both are, especially in Varney's case, expected to sign tomorrow I would guess?
Another 'linked' with us today is Blackpool defender Ian Evatt. £1m plus has, or will, be tabled for him apparently...
Lastly its looking as though The Herminator will finally be signing a new 1-year contract by the end of this week.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Monday July 4 2011
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