February clash made a big impact on goalkeeper
It was in February this year when Michael Poke began to dream about the possibility of playing for Pompey.
The goalkeeper was in action for Torquay at Fratton Park and facing a mostly impotent Blues attack, who failed to cause him any serious problems.
Little surprise, then, that he let his mind wander as the Devon side registered a 1-0 victory in their ultimately doomed League Two campaign.
It was a result that saw the alarm bells start ringing at Pompey, but all Poke can remember from that day is the atmosphere.
“I came off at the end,” he recalls, “and said to my dad: ‘Imagine playing in front of that crowd every home game.’
“There were about 15,000 people inside Fratton Park and although they didn’t give the fans much to shout about that afternoon, it was still a special atmosphere.
“For a team like Torquay going there, it is obviously a rare experience to play in front of a crowd like that.
“It would be the same for almost every side in the division. It makes you want to go out and raise your game.
“So it obviously didn’t take long for me to think about coming to Pompey, given what I had thought back in February.
“I only knew about the move last Friday. It was an easy decision for me to make and I’m looking forward to the new season.”
Poke will now compete with fellow new signing Paul Jones for a place between the sticks.
He said: “I’m not coming here to play second fiddle, but understand that neither is Paul.
“It’s accepted at every club that there are two keepers challenging for a place in the side and I’m ready for the challenge.”
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