Pompey’s training base was almost deserted on a sunny May morning in Copnor.
Danny Rose and Anton Walkes were both out on the pitches, as the duo continued their rehabilitation from injury.
But the rest of the squad have now departed for home – or warmer climes – with the 2017/18 campaign having come to a close.
Kenny Jackett was in his office as usual, however, and conducted one final press conference to update the local media.
THE DEPARTURE OF KAL NAISMITH
We weren’t able to come to an agreement with Kal, unfortunately. That’s the way it’s been all season. He gave the team good balance and that’s something we’ll need to replace. We thank him for what he’s done for this club and wish him all the best for the future.
PLAYERS BEING TIED DOWN
We’d stepped in early to secure the future of several players – like Jamal Lowe, Ben Close and Matt Clarke – and I’m delighted that the club were able to do that. It meant there were a minimal amount of contractual conversations needed at the end of the season. The main aim now is to build on our squad and make some clever additions to complement the players we already have.
"The main aim now is to build on our squad and make some clever additions to complement the players we already have."
OPTIONS BEING TAKEN ON ALEX BASS AND BRANDON HAUNSTRUP
I have a lot of time for both of those lads because they’ve grown stronger – physically and mentally. They should benefit from the experience they’ve had this season and are heading in the right direction.
DISCUSSIONS WITH ADAM MAY OVER A NEW DEAL
Adam’s had a decent amount of games this season and has really stepped up in training over the past couple of months. He’s been unlucky not to have featured more during that time. I see a player with a very bright future and a big part to play next season.
We’ve made a lot of enquiries and have had meetings with players and their representatives. We’re not particularly close to a signing at this point, but will need to be proactive during the summer. There won’t be a high number coming in or going out, although there will be key moves. We need a deeper squad if we want to finish above eighth. You can see the areas where we need to strengthen and we need to make all of them as strong and balanced as possible.
KEEPING HOLD OF MATT CLARKE
He quite rightly, along with Brett Pitman, won a number of Player of the Season awards. He’s continued to improve and is a player we want to keep. We haven’t had any enquiries or bids for him – and long may that continue. He’s someone we want to build a team around.
THE CLOSE SEASON
To a degree, I’m bored already! I’ve got a couple of friends going out to Russia to watch the World Cup, but it’ll be the television for me. Obviously having a holiday is important, but we also have to work hard to make sure we’re as strong as possible for when the players return for pre-season training.