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Pompey Swoop For Bird

PUBLISHED

19:30 23rd July 2013

by Neil Weld

Striker completes Fratton move

Pompey have completed the signing of striker Ryan Bird.

The 25-year-old – who enjoyed a prolific 2012/13 campaign with non-league Burnham – has signed a one-year deal, with the option of a further year.

He has already played two friendlies while on trial with the Blues this summer, scoring twice on his debut against Havant & Waterlooville.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Bird. “I’m having to pinch myself because it’s a dream come true.

“I was working on a building site a few weeks ago and this is obviously a lot better!

“All the lads have made me feel very welcome and it was great to get a couple of goals in my first game. The first one was a bit flukey, but I also hit the post, so it was a shame I couldn’t get a hat-trick.

“I scored 45 goals in 42 games last season – and I was suspended for three games, so I might have got up to 50.

“It’s a big step up for me and it’s a risk for the manager to take me on, but I’m confident in my ability to do well at this level.

“I just want to play as many games as I can and score as many goals I can. I just want to help the team in whatever way I can.

“There are some quality strikers here, so I just have to get my head down and work hard in training.

“I have to think Guy Whittingham and Steve Allen. They’ve both shown a lot of faith in me and I’m determined to repay them.

Blues boss Whittingham said: “He’s got the ability to be in the right place at the right time and that’s something you can’t really coach.

“When you start playing with better players your own game improves enormously – that’s something I know from experience.

“He’s a bit rough around the edges, but the players and coaching staff here will help him improve.”

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