It looked like he would start the campaign on the fringes of the first team.
But now Jack Whatmough will be hoping to celebrate his 21st birthday by helping Pompey beat Walsall at Fratton Park.
A pre-season injury to Matt Clarke opened a door for the academy graduate and he has featured in every game so far.
And Whatmough is hopeful that the Blues can bounce back from defeat at Oxford in their last League One outing.
“I remember being involved in the Pompey XI friendly at Poole and we went two goals down early – at that point a place in the side felt like a long way away,” the centre-back says in the official matchday magazine for this afternoon’s clash.
“But you just have to get your head down and work hard. That’s what I did and I obviously did enough in the final pre-season match at Crawley to get the nod from the manager.
"You just have to get your head down and work hard."
“We performed well as a defensive unit in the Rochdale game and kept a clean sheet, while we were unlucky to lose after extra-time against Cardiff from the Championship in the cup.
“Oxford last Saturday was a poor result, but there will be times when you lose and the important thing is how you bounce back from that.”
To read the full interview – where Whatmough also discusses his past injury problems and life in League One – pick up a copy of the magazine from programme sellers around Fratton Park.
Also in issue two, Drew Talbot reveals his favourite things, while Matt Clarke is next to take the ‘Home & Away’ quiz.
We also take an in-depth look at Walsall, while there are exclusive columns from boss Kenny Jackett, chief executive Mark Catlin and skipper Brett Pitman.
All this and much, much more in a packed 84 pages is available for just £3.