Devera hailed as a League One defender operating in League Two

Swindon Town's Alan McCormack (left) and Joe Devera (right) battle for the ball with Brentford's Harry Forrester (centre)
Swindon Town's Alan McCormack (left) and Joe Devera (right) battle for the ball with Brentford's Harry Forrester (centre)

We get the lowdown on Joe Devera from the Swindon Advertiser’s Sam Morshead.

JOE DEVERA

AGE: 26

POSITION: Right-back/
centre-back

PREVIOUS CLUBS: Swindon, Barnet, Northwood (loan)

· It seems there was a degree of disappointment back in Swindon when Joe Devera signed for Pompey.

Yes, Robins fans were sad to see him go, especially with the club declining to take up a 12-month option to keep him at the club.

Devera’s level is League One and he has joined a League Two club.

I would say he is better than that, a very capable League One performer.

I wouldn’t read much into Swindon not keeping him.

That is more down to the new balance of the squad and the budget being halved.

Portsmouth have an astute and sound signing there.

· Sounds encouraging, what makes him so impressive?

He is a top-drawer centre-back in League One and League Two, even though he wasn’t a regular all the time.

I would say the best thing about Devera is his flexibility and adaptability in positions across the back four. He is a very versatile defender.

In fairness, he can sometimes be done for pace out wide and occasionally struggle against a tricky winger in a full-back role.

But Devera goes about his business with the minimum of fuss with very few notable errors. He is solid, reliable, and regarded as a bit of a leader and was made captain on at least one occasion.

· What is his most effective defensive role?

I would say his best position is as a centre-back but he is capable of filling in out wide in full-back roles if required.

His delivery out wide is sometimes brilliant, sometimes woeful, but he himself prefers it at centre-back.

Devera is okay in the air, not the best aerially but not poor and will do a job alongside a big centre half, as he did with Darren Ward for parts of last season. As a partnership, they were keeping clean sheet after clean sheet for a while until a hamstring injury halted Devera’s progress.

He didn’t manage to get back into the team much in the centre of defence after that, which was a shame.

Instead, he was employed as a right-back as Swindon made the play-off semis.

· In your opinion, then, have Pompey pulled off something of a coup?

Portsmouth have picked up a player who will give absolutely everything.

Occasionally he has technical limits and he will not wow the crowd, more a case of quietly going about his business.

If he does play at full-back there certainly aren’t as many tricky wingers in League Two as there are in League One so he will probably deal with them comfortably. But I would be very happy to have him in my defence in League Two.

Devera is solid and trustworthy and there are a lot of people at Swindon sorry to see him go.