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Striker Crisis Eases As Portsmouth Duo Sign For The Rocks.

3 months ago By David Seabourne

Dan Smith and Bradley Lethbridge sign on loan From Portsmouth.

A huge boost for the club, who struggled for goals all last season have been missing that key striker to put the ball in the back of net. The news was confirmed by Rocks supremo Jack Pearce after the game and it is considered a real coup to get the highly rated Smith on loan and the club look forward to welcoming both to the "Nye Camp" fold.

Dan Smith scored last night in the 5-1 defeat to Portsmouth and looked a threat all evening.
The attacking midfielder - who accepted a third-year scholarship in May 2018 - began his Blues journey as an Under-8, and has so far represented the club at every level up to Under-23.

Handed a first-year apprenticeship in July 2017, 'Smudger' has played in a variety of positions for the youth team and for the U23s in the Premier League Cup.

The London-born midfielder, a talented dribbler, is something of a veteran of the Fratton youth setup, having been on the club's books for over a decade.

Still awaiting his professional debut, Smith has been amongst the substitutes for a handful of injury-hit Pompey's Sky Bet League One fixtures in 2018.


Lethbridge first signed for Pompey as a 10-year-old central midfielder but was released after just one year.

Returned as a striker in 2014, and was awarded a first-year apprenticeship in July 2017.

A powerful forward with an impressive goalscoring record at academy level, Lethbridge was one of the standout performers in the Under-18s 2017 FA Youth Cup run to the third round.

Named in Pompey's squad to face Northampton in the Checkatrade Trophy second round in December 2017, as he remained an unused substitute.

Now both players switch to the Rocks and will both play a part in the pre-season friendly at Salisbury on Friday night, and a week later at Gosport, as Pearce looks to shape his team with the league season just a few weeks away.

After Pompey chalked up a comfortable win, in which Jimmy Muitt scored for the hosts, Pearce said: "Both Bradley and Dan are very highly thought of within the Portsmouth management structure and we are delighted to welcome them to the club.

"Portsmouth are keen for both players to play regular football at a good level to help them develop so the loans suit all parties in that they can attain game time while we benefit from their talent.

“To have such a relationship with a club of Pompey’s stature says a lot about our club – and the trust they have in us – and we very much look forward to helping the players develop and at the same time boosting our own ambition ahead of the new season.”

Meanwhile, Pearce has revealed that keeper Dan Lincoln will play in the game at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium against the Evo-Stick Premier League South outfit on Friday.

Bognor kick-off league action with a trip to Haringey Borough on August 11 before hosting Merstham on August 14.

CARL ELDRIDGE

Updated 09:41 - 28 Jul 2018 by David Seabourne

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