Pompey extend defender’s stay

Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup’s Fratton Park stay has been extended.

The left-back, from Waterlooville, was out of contract this summer.

However, Pompey have moved to activate a 12-month option to secure the teenager until the summer of 2017.

Haunstrup has been restricted to only four appearances this season, all arriving in cup competitions.

The 19-year-old also hasn’t featured since coming off the bench at Ipswich in January.

Yet he remains highly-regarded by Paul Cook, who has often spoke glowingly about the youngster’s attributes.

Haunstrup’s passage into the first-team this season has been blocked by Enda Stevens’ form and availability.

Stevens has been an ever-present in the Blues’ League Two campaign, establishing himself as one of the stand-out performers.

The former Aston Villa full-back has also weighed in with nine assists, most recently Kyle Bennett’s goal in the 4-1 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge.

It means Haunstrup has made the bench on 11 occasions for league fixtures this season but has never been used.

Yet Stevens has been rested from three cup matches, allowing his left-back rival to make three Pompey starts.

Haunstrup was given a Blues debut in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Derby County in August, Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk netting the goals.

He kept his place for the following round in the visit of Reading to Fratton Park, which ended in a 2-1 loss in front of a crowd of 18,190.

There was another start for Pompey’s home-grown product in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Exeter City in September.

Cook opted to field a weakened side for the first-round outing, with Ben Close captaining a youthful team at St James Park.

Haunstrup’s fourth and final appearance to date arrived at Ipswich in the FA Cup, entering as a substitute.

Pompey drew 2-2 in that third-round fixture before winning the replay 2-1 at Fratton Park.

With returns to fitness for the vast majority of Cook’s side recently, Haunstrup has failed to make the last seven first-team squads.

Yet he has continued as a regular for Ian Foster’s reserve team, who have not lost in six matches this term.

However, Pompey have been unable to find a suitable loan club for the youngster who spent a brief spell with Bognor last season.

Haunstrup was promoted to the first-team in the summer after earning first-year professional terms.

The deal included a club option to extend his stay should they wish.

That has now been exercised and the defender’s future secured for another season.

The Blues presently have four first-team members whose deals expire this summer.

They are Ben Davies, Brian Murphy, Danny Hollands and Ben Tollitt.