Pompey have given me everything
Monday, 24th Jun 2019 21:20 by pompey-fans.com staff
Matt Clarke has issued a glowing farewell to Pompey - the club to whom, he says, he owes everything.
The centre-half has ended four outstanding seasons at Fratton with a switch to Brighton but he says he will always be grateful to Pompey for giving him the chance to reach the level that has seen him Premier League-bound.
He told The News: ‘As a boy, you dream of playing in the Premier League, and maybe it is time to give myself a new challenge. When you have a year left on your contract, that is when most transfers happen, so that also seemed to fit.
‘And unfortunately with Pompey not getting promoted and me needing to take a step up, that was also a factor. It’s hard to say whether I would have stayed if we had earned promotion, certainly it may have been a different situation with the opportunity to play Championship football, but it just wasn’t to be.
‘In your career, you would like to be on an upward curve. I’d had two years in League Two and two good years in League One, so in my head was ready to test myself with a new challenge, I wanted to take a step up.
‘You cannot say you are better than a level, there are always challenges, but I’d like to think I’ve done my time in League One. Sometimes players, maybe more in attacking positions, have a good half a year and then try to take the step up too early.
‘Whereas I’d like to think I have enough games under my belt and am educated enough in football to realise when the time is right. As a player, you must always aspire to be better, it’s not a case of you are doing all right so “I'll try to keep this up”. You want to think “I am doing all right, but there are things to work on”.’
‘I’ve loved it, Pompey gave me a chance – this club has given me everything. If I hadn't come here and played, I don’t know where I would be. I will always be very grateful for the opportunity, I can only thank Pompey for that because there is nothing like playing football week in, week out.’