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Academy

Pompey Unveil New Scholars

Young players sign apprenticeships

8 July 2022

A new batch of young players have signed apprenticeships with Pompey.

Mitch Aston, Kevin Bosaka, Jack Fox, Maxwell Hurst, Harvey Laidlaw, Koby Mottoh, Daniel Murray, Destiny Ojo, Malachi Osei-Owusu and Bastian Smith recently put pen to paper on their contracts in a ceremony at Fratton Park before posing for photographs inside the stadium.

Last season’s new intake of scholars – Josh Dockerill, Jamie Howell, Gabriel Kamavuako, Adam Payce, Spencer Spurway and Toby Steward – were also present, having missed out on the chance to sign at Fratton Park 12 months ago due to Covid protocols. Elliott Simpson was sadly missing through illness.

Academy manager Greg Miller said: “The journey for all these players has been very different and we are all cautious that for any young player, the move to full-time football – and, for some, the move away from their home environment – places a high level of challenge on them.

“We have a vast multi-disciplinary team in situ and believe we can support each player in their development, but ultimately they must hold up their end of the deal and be committed like never before.

“They need to try to find the improvement and consistency that will afford them a good chance of reaching the desired level to progress with the club in the future.”

"They need to try to find the improvement and consistency that will afford them a good chance of reaching the desired level to progress."

Greg Miller

Greg has also introduced the new batch of Pompey scholars who will be representing the under-18 side during the 2022/23 campaign…

Bastian Smith (Goalkeeper) – Bastian joins the academy for his first season with the club. He is a strong shot-stopper who has shown a good aptitude to learning during his trial at the end of last season.

Malachi Osei-Owusu (Goalkeeper) – A trial period at the end of last season showed the staff his strong shot-stopping abilities, along with bravery and strength in 1v1s. I’m sure both he and Bastian will be encouraged by the progression Toby Steward made in the academy.

Jack Fox (Defender) – Already experienced playing in the U18s from last season, Jack thrives in 1v1 defensive duels and has a good tactical awareness, having played in multiple defensive positions and formations.

Harvey Laidlaw (Defender) – Harvey predominantly plays left-back and like a number of the new scholars, experienced lots of U18 football last season. He is calm in possession and his dead ball delivery is a very strong attribute.

Daniel Murray (Midfield) – Daniel joins us from Fulham. He is a combative midfielder who has performed well on trial in our U18s last season. His attributes lend well to linking the build-up from defence and making passes to help us progress up the pitch. Out of possession, he shows a great desire and energy to help us win the ball back quickly on transitions.

Mitch Aston (Midfielder) – Like Jack Fox, Mitchell has been with the academy for a number of years. He is a skilful midfielder who retains the ball well in tight areas and duels with the opponent. Mitch has high energy levels that help the team win the ball back quickly on transitions.

Kevin Bosaka (Midfielder) – Kevin spent last season in the academy following a successful trial at the end of the 2020/21 campaign. He is an athletic player who likes to keep play simple. He demonstrates a good ability to drive forward away from opponents and make passes to our attackers.

Koby Mottoh (Wide Attacker) – The youngest of our new scholars and entering the academy after a successful trial last season. Koby is very strong at dribbling and thrives in 1v1 scenarios. He has made some really positive contributions (goals and assists) in his early performances while on trial and those attributes prompted us to sign him for the season ahead.

Maxwell Hurst (Attacker) – Maxwell thrives on playing up against defenders. He has a strong skill level and ball control, which is not often a trait of a tall centre-forward. His ability to beat a man and bring others into play supports the effectiveness of our attack. A very willing team player, he works incredibly hard to support the team, closing opponents and winning the ball back.

Destiny Ojo (Attacker) – Destiny joins the programme as a second year U18 and is an imposing attacker with a strong physical presence. He joins after a successful trial and has shown a good level of consistency in his finishing. Out of possession he works really hard for the team and uses his physical capabilities well to pressure opponents into mistakes.


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