Jack Whatmough was handed a Pompey deal and told: You’ve got potential.
But the defender has been warned he is still a long way from becoming the finished article after he was given his professional contract.
The 17-year-old yesterday celebrated his progress since becoming a Blues scholar by inking a three-year agreement.
It’s reward for Whatmough’s impressive performances for the Academy, which have highlighted him as one for the future.
The Gosport talent has come through the ranks at Fratton Park after joining from Southampton at the age 13.
He made 26 appearances for the under-18 side as they won the Football League Youth Alliance south east conference last season.
Academy boss Andy Awford has no doubt about the talent Whatmough possesses.
He feels he can definitely make the grade in the first-team at Pompey moving forward.
But that is still a distance from happening – and there is a lot of graft ahead for him before it becomes a reality.
Awford said: ‘We’re delighted with Jack.
‘He’s just turned 17 and he’s going in the right direction, so we’ve rewarded him with a professional contract.
‘We’ll continue to develop him now and he’ll be one for the future. It’s a stepping stone for him. Is he ready for the first team? No. Could he be in the future? Yes.
‘That’s why we’ve taken the measure to sign him.
‘He’s not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination.
‘But we’ve rewarded him because he’s done very well in his first year as an apprentice.
‘We’ve seen the potential in him and are looking forward to improving him further as a player.’