Vital Football

Awford says no!

Awford says no!

The opportunity was given to Andy Awford to become the assistant to Guy Whittingham on a permanent basis.

Although, having given it some thought, Awford has decided that he wants to carry on with his work in the academy.

Explaining his decision, which was a 'really tough decision', Awford told The Pompey Site: 'a lot of hard work has gone into the academy over the last two-and-a-half years and that's not something I want to give up.

'I'm really proud of what we've achieved and I want to see the job through. The academy staff deserve enormous credit for their fantastic work over the past couple of seasons.

'I understand that some of the young lads have played out of necessity this year. However, they've not let anyone down and have surpassed our expectations. From an academy point of view, it's been a very successful season.'

The job that Awford has done, with the rest of his academy staff, cannot be underestimated can it - just look at the amount of players that have come into the 1st team, perhaps out of necessity in some case as Awford says, and how well they have done.

Continuing this work is something Awford thinks he can do, that will help all concerned: 'I've loved working with the first team and it was a big learning curve for me to deal with seasoned professionals.

'It was an exciting venture and one I enjoyed thoroughly - especially towards the end of the season when we were more settled but now there's an opportunity to rebuild this football club and I feel proud and privileged to be a part of that.

'With Guy in charge of the first team and me running the academy, we can work together and grow at the same pace.'

Fair play to Awford, it would have been all too easy to take up Whittingham's offer but in the long-run I reckon we could end up better off with him not having done so.

All in all the right call has been made I would say.

Now it will be interesting to see who Whittingham looks to turns to...


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Date:Wednesday May 1 2013
Time: 8:26PM


Am happy with this TBH. Whittingham has knowledge of the club's teams literally all the way down. If we really do want to make the most of the academy lads, then we need continuity, and Awfs has made his mark - confirmed by the ones who've come thru this season. GW will know that he can trust AA with the kids, and get on with his job, but that when a kid is 'ready', it's likely they are. Also it's possible that maybe we can afford to get in an 'old head' as a coach/assistant Manager (tho' I really do think GW has done well, learning 'on the job'), after a terrible start which 90% wasn't his fault. Trust is important, a turnover of youth coaches is not good. If we can trust our Manager, and trust the caretaker of our youth - then we're doing bl**dy well, and I think most would agree we can with these 2 Pompey lads - who go way back. I see the calls for McLoughlin, maybe not a bad idea, although we are short on coaches full stop! But would like to see an assistant with some experience appointed, to help GW out with some ideas - at the same time, in some ways, that appointment need not be of someone with the same amount of passion for the club (would be hard to find).
scott mc
02/05/2013 03:04:00
Probably the best decision for us all. Plenty of experienced number 2's out there, go get one Guy!
02/05/2013 09:08:00
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