Blogs & Opinion


Pompey sensation

As part of Sky Sports' League One spotlight, Graeme Bailey catches up with Portsmouth midfielder Jed Wallace.

Features - Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey Posted 21st March 2013 view comments

The 2012/13 campaign is about to enter the final straight, with promotion pushes and relegation battles now in full swing.

Here at Sky Sports, we continue to take you to the very heart of the Football League, with our Spotlight features intended to give you a greater insight into the clubs and players that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Jed Wallace: Making a big noise at Fratton Park

Jed Wallace: Making a big noise at Fratton Park

We are hoping to bring you the views and thoughts of a representative from each of the 72 teams over the course of the season, with those involved asked to give their take on the division they compete in, the club that pays their wages and those we should all be keeping an eye on.

Next in our hot seat is Portsmouth's Jed Wallace, with the Pompey star discussing his first campaign in League One with Graeme Bailey.

So Jed, it all started off in the non-league for you, not that long ago?

There were always a few league clubs knocking around but I was in a really good Sunday league team and since then around seven from that league have gone professional, so I was happy with that rather than join an Academy, get bombed out, and then start again. I was happy at school and I thought as long as I am enjoying my football there was no need to move at such a young age.

How did you end up at Pompey?

After school I was playing in the first team for Farnborough at about 16 with Steve King and a few of us went from there. He said he wanted to take me with him, so I went with him to Lewes and played about three pre-season games and there was a few teams watching, one of those was Portsmouth and the rest is history.

You have had some loans which seem to have really got you going?

I went back to Farnborugh on loan last season as I needed to get out. The problem with the youth team was that it was a bit too nice and you need realism sometimes as you can't play against kids for ever. With Pompey we didn't know if there was going to be a club so you had to make yourself known. So I went to Whitehawk and they really looked after me and I enjoyed it, and that opened a new chapter for me.

After your great form at Whitehawk you were soon back at Portsmouth, which became a necessity...

I am grateful really that the other players were leaving, you have to look after yourself, and to be fair I felt I was due a bit of luck and I was playing well and it came at the right time - I got my debut and I haven't looked back.

How have you found life back at Portsmouth, it must be hard to concentrate with so much happening off the pitch?

Andy Awford knows the kids, and it has been massive for the young guys. We just have to keep going and pick up as many results as we can. Because there are not many people at the club, everyone is settling and coming together and I just hope we can keep this squad together. What will be, will be, we will carry on and continue to do what we can.

You have already hit double figures, you have emerged as a goalscoring midfielder...

It is a big part of my game being box to box, but only really this year I have added it to my game. I did a lot of finishing work in pre-season and I scored at Whitehawk and they kept coming and it is the same with Portsmouth.

Your form, coupled with your age, has seen you called up by England. That has led to interest from some Premier League clubs - is that a bit weird seeing yourself linked?

It is the same with all players, the young lads who are playing with the situation at the club - everyone is looking, the bigger clubs are because they know there isn't much money here and everyone is on short-term deals so if there are young players doing well there will always be clubs looking around.

You have come such a long way already in a short space of time. Playing for a club like Portsmouth at your age must be a real buzz?

"This has always been my goal. I went to Farnborough and Whitehawk with the goal of always getting back to Portsmouth and just doing well. Then whatever happens, happens - but I am just really enjoying it - everyone knows what it is like to play at Fratton Park. I was playing in front of 100 people at Whitehawk 10 weeks ago and now I am playing in front of 10,000 at Portsmouth. Even if the 10 points come off and we get relegated, the size of Pompey is ridiculous - it is phenomenal."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Gary Neville

Neville - Step back for City

Gary Neville says Manchester City must learn to see games out if they are to win the Champions League....

Ed Chamberlin

Ed: City can make statement

Ed Chamberlin can't wait for Man City-Chelsea on Super Sunday and gives his early Ryder Cup tips....

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: No need to worry

Jamie Redknapp isn't concerned after the English clubs made their worst ever Champions League start....

Latest News RSS feeds

Europa League live!

Text commentary from Tottenham's clash with Partizan in Belgrade

Neville - Step back for City

Gary Neville says Manchester City must learn to see games out if they are to win the Champions League.

Magath departs as Fulham boss

Felix Magath has left his role as Fulham manager after the Championship club's dismal start to the season.

Solskjaer leaves Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has left Cardiff City by mutual consent after nine months in charge.

FIFA officials to return gifts

FIFA officials have been told to return luxury watches handed out at the World Cup in Brazil this summer

Features

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

With 64 goals between them last season, Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa are two of the game’s best strikers. Born just three months apart on opposite sides of the Argentina-Brazil border, they were even team-mates at Atletico Madrid. But the pair have taken very different routes to the top.

Champions League: Yaya Toure off the pace as Manchester City succumb to late goal against Bayern Munich

Champions League: Yaya Toure off the pace as Manchester City succumb to late goal against Bayern Munich

Vincent Kompany said earlier this week that Yaya Toure was "not far off" signing a new Manchester City deal; that's considerably closer than he got to any Bayern Munich midfielder on Wednesday night.

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Nacer Chadli features among players to consider this weekend

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Nacer Chadli features among players to consider this weekend

One of the key challenges for any Fantasy Football manager is to find the value away from the popular picks without disrupting the balance of your starting XI.