Fans love, more than anything, a local lad coming their club’s youth academy and establish themselves as a first-team player.
Portsmouth are a club who have favoured this approach in the past few seasons when it comes to looking for players to put in the starting XI, with the likes of Ben Close and Jack Whatmough all coming through at Pompey and establishing themselves in the first-team this season.
With more promising players on their way at the club, one youngster who has decided to turn to first-team football already is 19-year-old midfielder Dan Smith, who was recently loaned out to League of Ireland side Cork City for the remainder of the season.
Since arriving on Irish shores Smith has been on impressive form for John Caulfield’s side, appearing four times for the Irish side and already getting on the score sheet in a 3-1 win against Midleton.
With the youngster looking to make a name for himself in Ireland, what does this future hold for Smith?
Able to play both as a midfielder and as an attacker, Smith is a player that could one day be a vital player for Pompey. The 19-year-old has been with the club for over a decade, and it’s quite remarkable how the teenager has yet to feature for the club yet in league football.
Smith has been on the bench for multiple Portsmouth games but has only featured twice for the side this season, starting against Southend United and Peterborough in the EFL Trophy, in which he got an assist against the Shrimpers playing as a right back.
When Smith is given the green light to play, he impresses, and if the London-born prospect can deliver for Cork this season there’s a good chance the 19-year-old could feature for Pompey next season.
With strikers Brett Pitman and Oliver Hawkins not scoring as much as you would expect and the majority of goals this season coming from wingers Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis, Kenny Jacket could be tempted to be brave and give Smith time in the striker position next season to see if the youngster can surprise both the opposition and the fans.
In a loan-move to non-league side Bognor Regis Town in the first half of the season, Smith hit 13 goals for the Rocks, helping the West Sussex club to 11th in the Isthmian League, meaning the potential to be a potent striker is there if the teenager impresses for Cork this season.
Portsmouth has a proud tradition of bringing through youngsters at the club, and in Smith, they could have a star in the making for a player who can do it all.
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