On trial at Pompey. Just who were they?
By Site reporter
Wednesday 22 Jul 2009 09:02:00
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Pompey's first friendly ended in a 2-2 draw with Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville, who came from two goals down to level late on.

However, of more interest than the match itself, as Pompey fielded two XIs in each half, was the fact Sylvain Distin was nominated captain of the side, while a clutch of trialists plied their wares in the seond half.

Distin may well be significant. Strongly linked with a move to Aston Villa, Chief Executive Peter Storrie insisted before the match he was going nowehere if he had anything to do with it.

So the fact the 31-year-old wore the armband, having been highly supportive of Hart's appointment last year, may well mean he is likely to do just that.

Of the trialists, Eugene Bopp will grab the headlines after his two quick-fire goals had seemly established a winning lead for Pompey in the second half.

However, the fact the player is pretty much a journeyman League One & Two player with Rotherham and latterly Crewe would suggest that Hart was doing a player known to him (they were together at Forest) a favour.


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Of more interest were Fabrice Pancrate and Modeste M'Bami, released by Paris Saint Germain and Mareseille respectively.

The striker-cum-winger and central midfielder both did enough to suggest they might have something to offer, without tearing up any trees. Likewise first half left back Onisimor Bhasera, the Zimbabwe left back.

The other trialist seems to have been Thierry Audel (22), a centre back who came through Auxerre's ranks, but who has been playing largely in the Italian third division of late. Seems like a long-shot that one.

Some sources have announced him as Johan Audel, the Valenciennes striker, but given that this trialist played at the back,  they would seem wide of the mark.

First Half: Begovic; Wilson, Kaboul, Distin, Bhasera; Basinas, Mullins, Hughes; Kranjcar, Ritchie; Nugent

Second Half: Ashdown; Ward, Primus, Audel, Hurst; M’Bami, Diop, Bopp; Cowan-Hall, Pancrate; Subotic

Hawks: Ashmore (Howe 46); Newton, Simpemba, Gasson (Pearce 83), MacDonald; Martin (Lambu 64), Wilkinson (Lopez 72), Walker, Fogden; Tiryaki (Norgate 85), Williams

Referee: David Phillips

Attendance: 3,216

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