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Why sentiment had no room in Pompey's decisions over who stayed and who was released
Sunday, 5th May 2024 21:25 by Pompey-fans.com staff

It involved some tough decisions and probably lots of soul-searching, but Pompey insist deciding on this year's retained list was all about separating sentiment from the cold, hard reality of the need to be competitive in the Championship next season.

The club have offered new contracts to captain Marlon Pack and defender Connor Ogilvie while options have not been taken up on Joe Morrell and Zak Swanson, but negotiations are ongoing.

Leaving the club when their contracts expire this summer will be Sean Raggett, Joe Rafferty, Lee Evans, Josh Martin, Matt Macey, Ryan Schofield, Haji Mnoga, Harry Jewitt-White, Liam Vincent and Josh Dockerill.

The decisions on Raggett and Rafferty - both key to the League One title success - have drawn the most debate among fans who are also now waiting to see if any new deals - loan or permanent - may be attempted in the cases of Tino Anjorin, Abu Kamara, Myles Peart-Harris and Alex Robertson.

Still under contract are Colby Bishop, Terry Devlin, Paddy Lane, Callum Lang, Tom Lowery, Tom McIntyre, Owen Moxon, Will Norris, Regan Poole, Christian Saydee, Anthony Scully, Conor Shaughnessy, Jack Sparkes, Ben Stevenson, Toby Steward, Ryley Towler, Gavin Whyte and Kusini Yengi.

Pompey head coach John Mousinho told the club website: 'It’s always tough to tell players that they’re not going to receive new contracts and the fact this team has been so successful makes it doubly difficult.

'There are guys who certainly deserve to get a deal because of the instrumental role they’ve played in helping us secure the League One title. That’s particularly true for Sean Raggett and Joe Rafferty, who have both been excellent, but I have no doubt there will be a lot of interest in them, as there will for the other guys who are leaving.

'But it’s important that we separate the sentiment from the reality of competing in the Championship next season. For that reason we have needed to make some incredibly tough decisions and I get on with all the lads, so I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.

'I would also like to thank Chelsea, Norwich, Brentford and Manchester City for loaning us their players, all of whom made an important impact over the course of the season.'

Academy scholars Mitch Aston, Kevin Bosaka, Sam Folarin, Jack Fox, Maxwell Hurst, Harvey Laidlaw, Koby Mottoh, Dan Murray, Destiny Ojo, Malachi Osei-Owusu, Brian Quarm and Bastian Smith have not been offered new deals.

Academy manager Greg Miller said: 'We’ve been consistent in our approach and assessed the players on an ongoing basis throughout the season. Some of them have shown a stronger level of consistency and received exposure to first team training and also cup matches.

'That process then led to discussions with sporting director Rich Hughes and head coach John Mousinho. The sad news this year is that we felt nobody had quite reached the levels that are necessary – which, of course, have risen this season.

'Players can develop at different rates and our attention now shifts to helping the boys who are leaving us. Some of them have either had trials elsewhere or are about to commence them, while others may decide their journey lies in non-league football, employment or full-time education.'

Photo: Action Images



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