Date: 25th January 2011 at 11:47am
Written by:

Andy Awford is returning to Pompey as the new academy manager, albeit on an ‘interim basis’ to begin with…

Awfs is going to be the ‘hands on’ coach that we have been looking for to breathe new life into our flagging youth development program with him keen, as he told The news, to make the club competitive again when it comes to attracting young talent.

Our facilities are not great, although having come through the ranks himself along with plenty of other in the past, he knows that these have been worse yet we produced some top class footballers – he wants this again: ‘it’s a huge job but I’m really excited to be coming back to the club.

‘It’s not going to happen overnight but I’ve had a conversation with Steve and we’re singing from the same hymn sheet.

‘I know the club and how it works and hopefully people feel I have the knowledge to put in place what is needed.

‘We need to start being competitive in and around the local area again and getting the recruitment right.

‘We have produced footballers here with worse facilities than we have now.

‘There are good, honest people who want to work for this club and do well. It’s important we move together as one. I can’t wait to get started.’

He is right is WILL NOT happen overnight although the importance of producing our own players is something that I have not been able to stress enough – it is essential for our long-term future that we can start to do this for all manor of reasons.

At 38, if we can patch him up sufficiently, we could add him to the playing squad too as he would still be younger, and fitter, than The King and have better ability than some of our defenders even though he is crocked…

I think that Awfs does have the basic qualities that will play a big part in getting things right, if he and those around him can put all the basic ingredients together then this appointment will work, in the short and long-term.

Speaking of ex-players that could, or should, return, I would still love to see Alan McLoughlin return to Fratton in a coaching capacity as he would offer the club so much.

I do not often listen to the phone-ins after games anymore, although I did at the weekend and Macca was again spot on with most of what he said.

He talks a good game and his input would be invaluable to this club, so if there is anyway that this can happen to have him work alongside Steve Cotterill, as his assistant perhaps – then again he is probably too outspoken for that – and the other coaches, or even Awfs at academy level this is something that we should look to happen, assuming he would want this of course?

Which, from the way he talks, I think it would be hard for him to resist…

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