Date: 4th September 2010 at 7:03pm
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Toast is back after a prolonged break caused by writer`s cramp etc. We have had a busy summer though right through the World Cup writing for Vital England and also being allocated a place on the ‘media friendly fans list` prepared by the Football Supporters` Federation. I thought that would be a doddle but it set up a bit of work liaising with German TV channel ARD over a project with was eventually aborted and culminating in a live interview on Radio 5 Live in the run up to the final. Rug was also involved with 5 Live.

Right down to business. Most of you will have read Toast before and know that this is a blog style column covering all things Pompey and football in general. Mostly though we want to hear from YOU the reader about your experiences in football. Regular items include ‘My first Pompey game`, ‘Strange trips to games`, ‘Over the wall` where you watched a game without paying etc. etc.. Send them to us and I will run them in a future column. We are looking for something to make the average football fan have a good laugh.

And remember if you are reading this and not a member then join us now and have your say it is so easy and free of course. Just click the link at the foot of the column.

Let’s look at Pompey`s new signings –

Liam Lawrence

iam is known as a dead ball specialist but he is a ‘Player of the Season` specialist too. He was named Player of the Season at Mansfield in 2003/04 and Stoke in 2007/08. During his time at Sunderland he was runner up in the 2005/06 season.

Toast therefore thinks he will be a big hit at Fratton Park as we need a goalscoring midfield player and Liam fits that bill nicely having scored 66 goals in his career of just over 300 games.

Lawrence started his career at his local club Mansfield Town and in the 2003/04 scored thirteen penalties which is just short of the all time record. He was awarded hero status at Field Mill after scoring an injury time winner in the local derby at Chesterfield in January 2003. In 2004 he moved on to Sunderland for £175,000 a fee decided by a tribunal. He settled well at the Stadium of light and helped the Black Cats win promotion to the Premier league at the end of the 2004/05 season. He was something of a regular the next season too as Sunderland struggled to amass a paltry fifteen points and returned to the Championship.

With the arrival of Roy Keane the next season Lawrence’s opportunities became less frequent and he joined Stoke on loan before signing permanently for half a million pounds in 2007.

That first season as Stoke won promotion Lawrence won his customary Player of the season award. He also scored his only hat-trick against Barnsley including two penalties. He scored Stoke`s first Premier league home goal but just before the visit to Fratton Park tripped over his dog and damaged ankle ligaments. I remember at the time writing about this and thinking it was good news that he would miss the game.

Ever popular at the Britannia Stadium but as the club began to gain a footing in the top echelon of English football his first team chances reduced and he joined Pompey this week. Fans have echoed that they have not heard from him or seen the traditional shirt pictures. This had been seen as him not being keen on his latest move but he is away on International Duty with the Republic of Ireland – qualifying through an Irish grandfather – and thus not available.

As yet he has not been allocated a squad number but Toast would suggest that number seven would be his preference but that might be being saved for the return of the Hermannator!

Liam had an excellent game for the Republic in Yerevan on Friday night. He made one key clearance and set up the winning goal as Armenia were beaten 1-0.

Dave Kitson

Like most professional footballers Dave started his career as a self stacker in Sainsbury’s in his native Hitchin. After playing locally for Hitchin Town and Arlesey he was picked up my Cambridge United and became an instant hit.

In three season he score forty goals in just over one hundred games and that persuaded Reading to splash £150,000 for his services on Boxing Day 2003.

Reading were to win promotion to the Premier League and Dave was a key part of that side scoring twenty two goals that season 2005/06. Dave was then to score Reading’s first ever Premier League in an opening day win over Middlesbrough. Injury in that game however curtailed his season but he did play often during the remainder Reading’s Premier league stay. Some will remember his goal in the 7-4 game when he pounced on an advancing David James and slotted the ball home in a flash from wide out on the left wing.

Stoke paid a then record fee of £5.5m for Kitson in the summer of 2008 but here the goals would dry up and he went a year without a goal for his new employer. He had to wait until August 2009 to score his first competitive goal in a League Cup tie with Orient. Meanwhile he had been back at Reading on loan and would also spend a spell at Middlesbrough.

Dave will admit he never enjoyed life at Stoke and will be happy to settle his family back in our part of the world. Danny Webber has already been allocated the number nine shirt so Dave has been allocated number eighteen.

Despite that barren spell at Stoke, Dave averages over a goal every three games scoring 112 goals in 318 games.

Goals on Sunday

This morning joining Kammy on the sofa will be Linvoy along with Kevin Blackwell and Matt Murray – the former Wolves keeper who was forced to retire last month. Murray suffered ruptured knee tendons while on loan at Hereford in November 2008 and never recovered.

Watch it on Sky Sports 1 at 10.30a.m. and incidentally the toaster they use in the shows opening came AFTER Vital Pompey started the Toast column.

Harty welcome

Paul Hart is set to be a hit at St Mary’s – according to a Toast mole at the Empty Paint Pot game the other night. They sang his name throughout the game but Toast asks why sack Pardew and have no replacement in the wings? What a way to run a club!!

£14 entry that night too – Pompey are only charging £10 for Leicester’s visit in a proper competition. What a way to run a club!!

Foxes for a tenner

The club have made great advances recently with efforts to win over the fans and news this week over prices for the upcoming Leicester City League Cup third round tie only enhance that.

The game is on Tuesday, September 21 and tickets are now on sale to season ticket holders. Seats cost just £10 for adults and £8 for seniors (60+), young people (17-21) and unaccompanied juniors (14-16). Seats for accompanied juniors (under 17) cost just £5.

And any season ticket holder or member who buys a ticket will get the opportunity to purchase two seats in the North Stand upper for the home league game against Leicester – which will be played on Friday, September 24 – for just £10 (£5 each).

Carling Cup tickets can be bought online, by phoning 0844 847 1898 (option one) or in person at the club’s ticket office in Rodney Road. Tickets will not be sold to unaccompanied juniors under the age of 14. Any tickets bought by phone are subject to a £2 booking fee.

Members can purchase tickets from Friday, September 10 and seats will go on general sale on Monday, September 13. Season ticket holders and members can only take advantage of the two tickets for £10 offer when they buy their Carling Cup ticket during their exclusive buying window – September 2-9 for season ticket holders and September 10 for members. Once the priority booking period for season ticket holders and members has closed, tickets will revert to the standard price. All tickets are subject to availability.

Strange how these back to back games come round just like Birmingham last season but the club are almost offering buy one, get one free!!

Well done Pompey!

Local boy comes good

We have already seen a number of local boys make the first team this season and another Sam Magri helped England beat Portugal 3-1 to win The FA International U17 tournament at Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park.

Goals from Everton’s Hallam Hope (2) and Crewe’s Nick Powell saw the Three Lions beat Turkey to the title on goal difference. Defender Magri played in both of England`s previous two matches in the tournament – a 2-2 draw with Turkey and a 4-0 victory over Australia.

Last month the 16-year-old skippered his country to victory in the Nordic Tournament in Finland.

?and finally

A word to those who insist on writing comments on the site of our local newspaper (which I think is a waste of time-come to a real fans site) – many were commenting this week during the transfer window debate that the ‘club were showing no sign of wanting to get out of their current predicament’, ‘why are we not signing quality players?’ etc.

Can I remind you that Portsmouth City Football Club is in administration and when it comes out will only be paying creditors 20% of what it owes them? It has no money and must beg steal and borrow players. The days of spend, spend, spend are long gone and will probably never return. If you were a creditor who has had to forego large sums of money owed, how would you feel to see the club spending millions of pounds on new players? The answer is simple – very ****** off!