Derby planned in season warm-up match

PRE-SEASON looks to be an exciting time for Gosport Borough supporters, with a local derby planned against League One opponents Portsmouth in late July, which will act as a symbol of the ongoing relationship between the two sides over recent years. The pre-season friendly is scheduled to be held at Privett Park on Wednesday 21st July 2021, although no official kick-off time has been arranged as yet.

Gosport hosted Portsmouth last season in a pre-season friendly in early September 2020, which was held in front of a limited audience of 600 supporters from both clubs. On a dry Tuesday night Gosport lost four-nil to their higher league rivals who played a first team eleven; with Ronan Curtis, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (x2) and Ryan Williams scoring the goals in a ‘flattering’ result for Pompey.

The match will be a rare opportunity for Portsmouth fans to see their new manager Danny Crowley in action; with all games held behind closed doors at Fratton Park and the sacking of Kenny Jackett in March. Despite this Gosport manager Shawn Gale wants the match to excite all local fans and expects a large crowd to attend the local derby pending coronavirus restrictions / limits are lifted as planned on 21st June. In a statement to Gosport club media, he said.

“The important thing when you play a professional team is that it is nice for the supporters, a lot of Gosport fans will be Pompey fans. They’ll want to come down to see some of their new signings and Portsmouth will hopefully put out a strong team.

“I know Danny [Cowley] has got a lot of rebuilding to do, so I’m hoping for a mixed team. It will also be good for us to play against senior professionals from our local club. Pompey academy players Gerard Storey, Eoin Teggart and Harry Kavanagh, the latter going to appear in the first team squad, played on loan at Boro’ last season.

“Last season we had a few of their youngsters on loan. Also we allowed Portsmouth to use our pitch behind closed doors during lockdown, so there’s a little bit of a nice rapport going on with the football club. It’s important we keep the links with the club because we can help them as much as they help us at times,”

“I’m looking forward to it, but most of all just getting back to playing football. We’ve had a good response to our season tickets and hopefully as we start announcing new signings there’ll be some more sold. We have a couple more which we want to get out there, but can’t just yet and there’s more excitement to come for fans. What we want to produce here is a successful team, which plays with a lot of enthusiasm and pace going forward”.

Further pre-season friendlies are in the pipeline and will be announced in due course, which may include Fareham Town in the ‘Globe Derby’ and Bognor Regis as seen in recent years. Local derbies seem to be the trend this summer and fans shouldn’t expect long-distance friendlies due to costs / Covid-19 regulations, but hope remains of a packed schedule that tests the players and gain extra revenue at the club. Fans are reminded that the Gosport club website will provide updated information on fixtures and how to get match tickets to this local derby.

Written by Connor Steel / Photograph by Sarah Standing (Portsmouth News)

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