Whatmough offers hope amid the gloom

Jack Whatmough was on the Pompey bench for the visit to Bootham Crescent Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough was on the Pompey bench for the visit to Bootham Crescent Picture: Joe Pepler
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It was a day of despair for Pompey fans following the York debacle.

Yet on the substitutes’ bench there was an encouraging glimpse of the future in the form of Jack Whatmough.

At the age of 17 years, one month and 10 days, the defender was named in a Blues league squad for the first time.

Yet another indication of the high regard the youngster from Gosport is held in at the club.

In August, upon Whatmough’s 17th birthday, he was awarded with a three-year deal by Pompey following his emergence through the ranks.

Now he has entered the first-team environment and Guy Whittingham believes it is fully deserved.

‘Shaun Cooper’s groin wasn’t good enough (for York),’ said Whittingham.

‘You give consideration whether you bring Adam Webster back – but it wouldn’t be fair on him because he is getting plenty of games on loan at Aldershot. So Jack was the right one to come with us.

‘He has been playing well in the Academy and development games so earned the chance to come up.

‘You’ve got Adam who is really the next in line (to the senior defenders).

‘If you had somebody out for a while then you would probably look at bringing him back, but then Jack is certainly up there and has done well.

‘Saturday was the first time he has really been around the first-team squad and he coped fine.

‘He has trained with us a lot more recently as well so it’s not as if we are bringing a stranger into the camp, he has been involved with us.’

Whatmough’s only other previous involvement with the first-team was in the Capital One Cup in August 2012.

He was one of 12 teenagers in Michael Appleton’s squad for the trip to Plymouth, with the Blues unable to sign players at the time.

Whatmough was among three named substitutes, alongside Jack Maloney and Bradley Tarbuck, but was the only one not to feature.

With Joe Devera (hamstring) and Cooper missing for last weekend’s trip to York, Whatmough was the only central-defensive cover on the bench.

Meanwhile, Webster has made 12 appearances during his loan spell at the Shots.