Hard work and bonding were the key advantages of Pompey’s pre-season trip to Ireland.
Jamal Lowe certainly believes it was a valuable experience – even if some of the new recruits’ singing left a lot to be desired.
The Blues spent a week at the Fota Island Resort, which included a 4-1 friendly victory over nearby Cork.
And Lowe hopes the gruelling training sessions undertaken will translate into a successful season on the south coast.
The winger said: “It’s my first time on a pre-season trip away and I really enjoyed it.
“We saw each other every day and all had dinner together, so it was a good chance to mix and get to know all the new guys better.
"I can’t even remember what he sang, but it only lasted for about five seconds – I was not impressed."
“They had to do their initiation songs and I don’t know who was the best, but I can definitely tell you who was the worst.
“That was Ronan Curtis. I can’t even remember what he sang, but it only lasted for about five seconds – I was not impressed.
“We’ve been working hard in training and have been lucky with the weather. Those double sessions will be useful in getting us ready for what will be a long season.
“Everyone’s hoping we can do better than last time and finish inside the top six – whether that’s the automatic places or the play-offs.”
Pompey will face the Hawks in their second friendly of the summer on Saturday, with a certain World Cup quarter-final clash starting not long after it.
Lowe said: “We watched England beat Colombia together and everyone’s excited for the Sweden match.
“Obviously we’ve got a game on Saturday, so I don’t know what I’ll do yet. I might just stay at the ground to see it.
“My prediction now is that J Lingz is going to score the winner in the final, assisted by Rashford. That’s what I’m going for.”
Lowe will wear the 10 shirt during the 2018/19 campaign, having had 18 on his back last term, but is not copying a certain Arsenal superstar who has selected the same number.
He said: “I just think that 10 is better. It’s a new season and so I wanted a new start. Mesut Ozil had nothing to do with it – I changed first!”