Portsmouth FC 2019-20 League One Preview

The end of 2019-20 season will mark a decade since Portsmouth FC were relegated from Premier League and denied a chance to play in Europa League even after finishing runners up in FA Cup after they failed to pay wages to players and staff.

A decade since going into administration, things couldn’t be more different. Portsmouth is now under the ownership of Michael Eisner(Former Disney CEO) and there is optimism around the club that Championship football is not far away.

After Promotion from League Two in the 2016-17 season, they have finished 8th and 4th in the last two seasons under Kenny Jackett. Most of their matches filled Fratton Park to capacity in the last two seasons.

One interesting fact about their average home attendance(18,273) last season was that it was higher than their 2009-10 Premier League season attendance of 18,249.

There are also rumors of planning being underway to shift the Portsmouth FC home base to a new stadium as Fratton Park is turning out to be a nightmare in terms of administrative and maintenance costs.

The move seems inevitable but for now, Fratton Park improvements are underway. If they were to increase the capacity either at Fratton Park or at a new location it will be invaluable for Portsmouth’s future.

The 2018-19 was a great experience for many fans with somewhat of a sour ending. EFL Trophy might not be the biggest trophy in the game but as they say, teams competing in the tournament and memories made in winning the trophy is what that matters.

Winning the EFL Trophy in front of 40,000 of their own fans and in front of the biggest crowd (85,021) the competition has ever seen and playing at Wembley Stadium would have been a highlight of their season.

Reaching the fourth round in FA Cup will also be beneficial for their finances, but not getting promoted to Championship would have left them with a sour taste considering they were in automatic promotion place for most of the first half of the season.

Three consecutive losses in January followed by 5 draws in February led to them dropping out of automatic promotion places while 3 matches winless run in the final 3 regular season matchdays meant they ended the regular season placed 4th by a margin of 3 points from automatic spots.

1-0 loss at The Stadium of Light followed by 0–0 draw at Fratton Park in Playoff semi-final meant they have to play a third consecutive season of League One football. On the bright side, they are one of the favorites to get promoted this season.

Portsmouth FC 2019-20 Player Departures

A total of five players who have made debut for the first team have left the club in the summer so far.

Initially, three players have not renewed ahead of 2019-20 season. The list includes

  • Dion Donohue
  • Dan Smith 
  • Freddie Read

Nathan Thompson was offered a contract but the expectations of the club and player didn’t meet. This led to him also becoming a free agent.

Young Center-Back star Matthew Clarke joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a transfer fee that is rumored to be around £3.5 million + addons.

In summary two youngsters, one Left Back and two Center-Backs have left the club in summer.

Portsmouth FC Manager

Kenny Jackett is the current manager of the Portsmouth FC. He joined the club after the departure of Paul Cook at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Jackett managed Watford, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Millwall, and Swansea City before joining as Pompey manager. He won promotion from League One twice before. First was with Millwall in 2009-10 via playoffs and second was with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 2013-14 season.

Jackett is dubbed as one of the football nice guys by the media. He spent most of his playing career at Watford and was known for his versatility but following a career-ending injury in 1990, he joined the clubs Coaching staff and has been in coaching ever since.

He worked as the first-team coach for many years and also served as assistant coach to Ian Holloway, Graham Taylor. As a first-team manager, he managed 788 games before the start of 2019-20 season.

Jackett has a record of 58 wins, 23 draws from 115 games in charge of the Portsmouth Football Club. He is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and mostly plays 4-2-3-1 but can also switch to 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 based on the opposition and availability of players.

Portsmouth FC 2019-20 New Signings

Pompey has added two bright Northern Ireland youngsters to their academy ranks, two players on loan and five first-team players permanently so far.

Harry Anderson

Harry is a 16-year-old striker who has spent the last two seasons with Portadown U20 and was one of the stars of the team. He only managed to make one appearance for the Portadown senior team.

He is one of the highly-rated prospects to come out of Northen Ireland in the past few seasons. He is only 16 which means he has a lot of room for improvement and is likely to join Pompey Academy squads.

Gerard Storey

Gerard Storey is a 17-year-old midfielder who had previously made appearances with Northern Ireland U16 and U17 squads and was one of the key players in Portadown squad that finished 3rd in NIFL Championship.

Storey is often praised for his passing ability which includes 60-yard passes, short passes and his confidence on the ball makes him one of the sought after Northern Irish talent.

He is also likely to join the academy team initially but the way he improved over the last season makes us feel the days of him playing regular senior football on loan are not far away.

James Bolton

James Bolton is a 24-year-old defender who predominantly plays as a Right Back but can also play as Center Back and is also known for the ability to play as Left Back and Right Midfield player.

His career didn’t start off well as he was released by stoke at the age of sixteen which led to him joining Macclesfield Town where he made 10 senior appearances and joined Workington, Halifax Town to gain first-team experience.

After leaving Macclesfield Town to find a permanent home he joined Halifax Town where he spent two years followed by Gateshead and gained experience playing in National League.

After a season where he scored one and provided five assists playing at Right Back and played three games with England C squad, he was scouted by Shrewsbury Town.

He became an integral part of the Salop that reached the League One play-off final but lost to Rotherham United 2-1 in AET. Last season Salop lost many key players and Paul Hurst which led to dip in their performance.

James Bolton didn’t find life easy under John Askey as he benched him for more than 10 games but following his departure, he found new life under Sam Ricketts and played almost every game apart from two games in march which he missed due to an ankle injury.

He is a 6′ 0” defender who is a dependable full-back and a positive character. He is known for his defensive abilities but also can provide decent service in attacking situations.

Paul Downing

Paul Downing is a 27-year-old Center Back who is a product of West Bromwich Albion Academy and he is currently one of the well established League One Center Backs.

To put his experience into numbers he made 244 League One appearances including 4 appearances in playoffs. He joined Blackburn Rovers two seasons ago and was part of their squad that promoted to the championship in the 2017-18 season.

He spent the first half of last season at Blackburn but only managed to make 3 appearances which led to him requesting a loan move and joining Doncaster Rovers for the second part of the season.

Downing made 22 appearances including two Fa Cup and two playoff appearances and helped Doncaster Rovers in solidifying their 6th place and reaching the playoffs.

Paul Downing is 6′ 1” Center Back who can play out from the back and can also pick strikers or wingers with his long balls. He is praised as one of the most intelligent players by many of his former teammates(Not just in terms of Football IQ).

Ellis Harrison

Ellis Harrison is a 25-year-old forward who can play on both wings as well as the Center Forward. He came through the youth ranks at Bristol Rovers.

He has experienced highs and lows as a Bristol rovers players as he saw them reach National League from League One and was part of their journey back to League One.

Last season he joined Ipswich Town in Championship on a transfer fee rumored to be around £750,000 but failed to make his mark due to injury setbacks.

He suffered ankle ligament injury in September which forced him out of action for several weeks followed by a back injury in February which ended his season.

Harrison made just nine starts, eight more as a substitute for Ipswich but on the bright side, he has an experience of 223 Professional appearances including 82 League One game in which he scored 20 times and had 9 assists to his name.

He is a former Welsh Youth player who would make a great winger as he is known for his pace, power and hard-working nature. Harrison is 5′ 10” and can win headers in both boxes.

Ryan Williams   

Ryan Williams is a 25-year-old winger/ midfielder who is known for his versatility and can play as RW, LW, RM, LM, AM, and CM but predominately plays as the right side.

He has an interesting connection with Portsmouth in his youth years as he joined them in the 2010-11 Championship season from Australian club ECU Joondalup SC and made 6 appearances for Portsmouth in the first half of 2011-12 season but left them in January to join Fulham in PL.

His move to Fulham didn’t turn out to be fruitful professionally as he had to wait till the 2014-15 season to make a senior appearance for Fulham during his time with the club he made successful loan moves to Oxford United, Barnsley.

After leaving Fulham, he spent two years at Barnsley and was a victim of injury nightmare, made only 6 appearances in their League One promotion season and 17 appearances in Championship season.

This led to a move to Rotherham United where he spent two seasons. In the first season(2017-18) he was an integral part of their squad that won promotion to League One via playoffs. He provided 7 assists and scored 4 in 42 appearances that season.

Last season he made debut for the Australian National team, made 41 club appearances and was a consistent starter apart from 7 games he missed due to a hamstring injury but failed to prevent them from getting relegated back to League One.

He is a 5′ 9” winger who uses his low center of gravity, his pace to dribble past the opponents, He can either cut inside or cross the ball into the box.

Marcus Harness

Marcus Harness is a 23-year-old versatile midfielder/forward who predominantly plays as a winger but can also play as CF, CM, AM, SS, RM, LM.

Harness has spent his youth years at Coventry City but joined Burton Albion in 2010 and was on their books till joining Pompey. He was in and around the first-team picture at Burton since he was 15 and made his professional debut in the 2013-14 season.

He went onto make 83 appearances for Burton and 42 appearances for Port Vale on loan taking his total appearances to 127 games.

Last season he scored five and provided seven assists to his teammates in 32 League appearances.

Harness is a 5′ 11” pacy versatile player who has good ball control has the ability to dribble past defenders and put a decent cross into the box. His versatility is an asset as well as a curse as he only made 29 appearances at Right Wing which is his highest for any single position.

Sean Raggett

Raggett is a 25-year-old Center Back who was released by Gillingham at the age of 16 and had to make it by the hard route as Dover Athletic were the only club that showed interest in him.

Even while at Dover Athletic he didn’t find himself playing regular National League football in early years and had to gain experience by playing at Sittingbourne, Herne Bay, Whitstable Town.

He started becoming a regular in the 2014-15 season at Dover Athletic and solidified his position in the 2015-16 season.

He moved to Lincoln City for the 2016-17 season and was part of the team that won promotion to the Football League and scored the winner against Burnley in the FA Cup fifth round to help them reach the sixth round where they lost to eventual winners Arsenal 5-0.

Raggett joined Norwich City in the 2017-18 season but was loaned back to Lincoln City till January. After returning to Norwich he managed to make only 2 substitute appearances for the remainder of the season.

Last season, he joined Rotherham United on loan but only managed to make 10 appearances due to suffering a series of injuries at Rotherham.

Sean Raggett is a 6′ 5” which makes him a threat from set-pieces, he is a proper old-school center-half and his teammates and coaches name him as one tough character.

Ross McCrorie

Ross McCrorie is a 21-Year-Old Defensive Midfield player who is a product of Rangers Academy. He is a current Scottish U-21 player and made 40 youth appearances for Scotland already.

He has a twin brother Robbie McCrorie who is a goalkeeper and spent youth years at Rangers and is currently on loan at Queen of the South FC.

Ross had made 82 senior appearances including 3 Europa League appearances, He has received high praise from Steven Gerrard(Current manager of Rangers). Some people called him the future of Scottish football which shows how high he is being rated.

He is a 6-foot tall midfielder who can also play as a Center back. He is a threat from set-pieces and likes to go into hard tackles. McCrorie has the ability to bring other players into the game.

He tries to make space for himself and gives a passing option to center backs if the team plays from the back. His pace, tackling ability makes it hard to get past him and gives him the ability to mark player s out of the game.

Portsmouth FC 2019-20 Away Journey

The longest trip Pompey has to make this season is to play Sunderland at the Stadium of Light while the shortest trip will be to play AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow. More numbers about their journeys are listed below in miles.

Total Distance4409
Average distance per game191.7
Longest Trip343
Shortest Trip63

Portsmouth FC 2019-20 Odds

Portsmouth FC are the third favorites behind Sunderland, Ipswich Town to get promoted this season. The odds that are being offered are as follows


Portsmouth FC 2019-20 Fixtures

To read more club previews click here or visit 72 in 72 section from the menu.

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day – Sapra