Portsmouth are expected to be among the front-runners in League One this season, having made a glut of signings under John Mousinho.
One of those signings, former Lincoln City captain Regan Poole, is expected to be the jewel in the crown in terms of Pompey’s defence. However, having signed later than much of the squad, the 25-year-old is yet to play more than 60 minutes in pre-season.
With Portsmouth due to kick off in eight days’ time against Bristol Rovers at Fratton Park, fans could be forgiven for getting edgy about their newest recruit. Mousinho has moved to quell that concern in a Portsmouth News interview, where he has cleared up the situation around Poole. During the interview, in which he explained loan signing Abu Kamara had a good pre-season, he also referred to Poole.
‘Regan is different (from Kamara); he hasn’t had a pre-season because he’s not been with a club, so we’ve been slightly more cautious in terms of bringing him back.’
That could mean Poole has limited availability for the big kick-off, although fitness has not been an issue for him in the past. He started 45 of Lincoln’s 46 league games last season, and in 2021/22, he missed just two league fixtures.
Poole, who can play centrally or at right back, started his career with Newport County and was quickly picked up by Manchester United, where he appeared once in the Europa League against Midtjylland. Loans at Northampton and back at Newport followed before a permanent switch to MK Dons. He left Stadium MK in January 2020, joining Lincoln under Michael Appleton and playing a role in their journey to the League One Play-Off Final.
In 2021/22, he was named the club’s Player of the Season, and this campaign was named fan group The 617’s Player of the Season. He joins former Imps Anthony Scully, Joe Morrell, and Sean Raggett at Fratton Park.
Pompey fans will be glad to know Poole’s load is being managed, and despite not completing 90 minutes in pre-season, there should be no qualms about him starting next weekend. Poole’s injury record is almost faultless – in 2021/22, he was the only Lincoln player to start more than 40 league matches and one of only two outfield players to start more than 31.
He’s going to big a huge figure for Pompey this season. The former Cardiff trainee is set on representing his country, and it’s felt the best place to do that is by playing centre back, unlike the right wing-back position he occupied for much of his time at the LNER Stadium.