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Teenage Trio Offered Pompey Deals

Hancott, Lethbridge and Maloney to receive third year scholarships

30 April 2019

Joe Hancott, Bradley Lethbridge and Leon Maloney
Joe Hancott, Bradley Lethbridge and Leon Maloney have all been offered third year scholarships

Pompey have offered third year scholarships to three of their academy players.

Joe Hancott, Bradley Lethbridge and Leon Maloney have been given the chance to extend their Pompey deals.

Full-back Hancott (18) hails from the Isle of Wight and became the club’s youngest ever player when he made his debut in last season’s Checkatrade Trophy draw with Fulham.

Forwards Lethbridge (18) and Maloney (17) both made their Blues bow in the same competition this term, with the former coming from Gosport and the latter also born on the Isle of Wight.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “All three have shown consistency and deserve the opportunity. It’s a transitional pathway because you can’t expect them to jump straight into the first team.

“They will stay under the academy remit, but can move across when needed for training or under-23 games.

“It’s all about getting the balance right and we’re looking at that middle structure between youth and senior football.

"All three have shown consistency and deserve the opportunity."

Mark Kelly

“There is also the chance to go on loan and gain experience, with our staff going out to watch them and see how they’re getting on.

“Joe had a tough start to the season after breaking his toe and there was a four-month period for him to really get back into the flow. He’s been a consistent performer since then and is growing as an athlete.

“Brad is a goalscorer and we’ve seen that at Bognor. He’s a strong player, although still needs to develop in certain areas, including his mental approach to the game.

“Leon has got pace to burn and has added plenty of goals for the youth team this season, also performing at senior level with Bognor.

“He’s looking to grow physically and get his head around what it means to become a professional footballer.”

Oscar Johnston, Freddie Read and James Whiting have not been offered deals, while Joe Dandy and Josh Flint will remain with the club and be monitored as they continue their recoveries from long-term injuries.

Kelly said: “All of the lads are still developing and we’ll continue to offer them support – that doesn’t just stop when they leave the club.

“Some have got their eyes on various other pathways, but there’s a family environment at Pompey and we will always be on hand to provide help when it’s needed.”

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