Man of many roles ready for top job

Guy Whittingham was handed the Pompey manager's job on a permanent basis after the Pompey Supporters' Trust's takeover at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham was handed the Pompey manager's job on a permanent basis after the Pompey Supporters' Trust's takeover at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler

A little under a year ago he was looking after the ‘bomb squad’.

Now newly-appointed first-team boss Guy Whittingham is plotting the way forward for Pompey as the club starts out on a new era.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the new Blues boss – after overseeing the players left at home as then manager Michael Appleton’s team toured Spain last pre-season.

Whittingham was left holding the baby in the shape of the likes of Tal Ben Haim, Liam Lawrence, Erik Huseklepp, Dave Kitson and Luke Varney as they negotiated their exits from the club.

In fact, he’s grafted in just about every role possible since rejoining the club he served in such distinguished playing fashion as a coach in 2009.

Academy coach, technical coach, development coach, first-team coach, caretaker boss and, finally, the man at the top.

It’s been a long and winding road for Whittingham to become Pompey’s 33rd first-team manager.

But it’s one he feels has prepared him well for the voyage from now on.

Whittingham said: ‘I’ve had one or two jobs in my time here.

‘Through the Premier League years I worked at Radio Solent. I was there for two years.

‘Then I came back as a coach with the under-15s when Mark Kelly was in charge of the Academy. Then I worked with Paul Hart as a technical coach.

‘I was working with the PFA at the time in coach education so I could talk to other coaches on that and look at players more technically.

‘Then Tony Adams took me in as a development coach.

‘I then worked as first-team coach and am now at the dizzy heights of manager.

‘Oh, I forgot caretaker. I’ve done that one as well!’

Despite having plenty on his plate overseeing first-team affairs, Whittingham has promised to keep a close eye on affairs lower down the ladder at Fratton Park in the months ahead.

Having experienced all of those roles himself at one time, he feels anyone in such a position now should be doing all they can to embrace it.

‘You know where you are. I never had a problem with it and I wouldn’t expect anyone working under me to have a problem with it,’ said Whittingham.

‘You had the information and I knew where I was.

‘I was taking the under-16s the other Monday.

‘It’s important to keep your hand in there and for people to see you care about what happens further down at the football club.

‘I will carry on having an interest in the Academy and the ages.

‘It’s good to know your coaches down there and what they are trying to produce.

‘That’s something I will keep doing. I will have time for that.

‘It’s a hectic period but once we have our squad together and have had a good break, the season will start and we will go into the mode needed to succeed.

‘That’s working at first-team level and all the way down.

‘It’s only right a manager takes an interest in the teams below.’