Liam Vincent’s first season as a Pompey player was ruined by injury.
So the defender was delighted to be given his first senior outing in the pre-season opener at Havant & Waterlooville.
He played the full second half and capped a convincing 3-0 victory against the National League South hosts by scoring a fine free-kick.
It was an enjoyable experience for Vincent, who wants to keep improving his fitness before the competitive fixtures start.
The defender said: “It was difficult for me last season, so it was nice to finally be able to play in front of our supporters.
“I’m slowly getting there, although not quite where I want to be just yet because we’re only two weeks in.
"It was difficult for me last season, so it was nice for me to finally be able to play in front of our supporters."
“There’s been a lot of running to help build up our fitness ready for the new season and also possession based work.
“It’s still a case of managing the injury to an extent, but I’m in a good place and am only going to get fitter.
“I’m pain free, although it still gets sore every now and then – which you expect from the workload in pre-season.
“I want to play as much football as possible, preferably with Pompey or maybe out on loan somewhere.”
Vincent’s impressive free-kick just after the restart followed earlier strikes from Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ronan Curtis.
He said: “I have a little routine and just had to visualise the ball going into the net – fortunately that’s what happened.
“I like to take set-pieces and just fancied this one, so I stepped up and it was a really nice moment for me.”