Academy Hopeful Of Whatmough Return
By Sam Garrett

Added on 07 March 2014

Portsmouth U18s could be boosted by the return of hot prospect Jack Whatmough for the home league clash with AFC Wimbledon, this Saturday.
 
Off the back of an England U18s debut, the blonde haired defender who received his first-team call up to the Portsmouth squad earlier this season, featured in the 2-1 defeat to Croatia on Wednesday afternoon, at St. George's Park.
 
Youth manager, Paul Hardyman, revealed it's not official whether the 17-year-old will be involved with the Academy fixture, or Portsmouth's 1st team Fratton Park encounter, with Cheltenham in League 2.
 
"We're not sure yet, he will either be with us or with the first team," said Hardyman.
 
"That's not been confirmed yet."
 
Pompey boast an unbeaten home record at Furze Lane in all competitions this season, having played eight, winning six of those.
 
The young Blues have already beaten AFC Wimbledon twice this season, so they will be expected to have the upper hand, as they sit 3rd in the Youth-Alliance South-East League table. A win, would put Paul Hardyman and Andy Awford's side two points behind league-leaders Colchester United, with two-games in hand.
 
AFC Wimbledon are nine ranks below Portsmouth in the standings - three places above the foot of the table. After 12 away games competed in from all competitions, The Dons have won half of them, and lost the other half a dozen.
 
Hardyman added: "It's always a very tough game to be fair. This is not an easy game.
 
"Although we've played them twice this season and beaten them both times, we're not under-estimating them.
 
"They are a strong league outfit.
 
The Blues were 4-3 winners on penalties last weekend against Cheltenham in the Youth-Alliance South Cup Semi-Final after a 1-1 draw before the shoot-out. It was another home victory to add to their impressive run of form and has ultimately seen them book a place in the final of the cup. They will either face Colchester United/Watford, with the game to be played at one of the clubs first-team venues.
 
"We're going into this game off the back of going through to the final of the cup and coming back from 3-0 down, (3-3 away draw with Southend United)we've shown some character in the last two weeks," explained Hardyman.
 
"We would like to take it into this game and be really positive, but it's another league game that we are looking to get another 3-points to keep in the title chase."
 
"We're looking for good performances from all the players."
 
Portsmouth FC U18s v AFC Wimbledon FC U18s is an 11:30am kick-off tomorrow morning at Furze Lane. Supporters cheer on the team free of charge.

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