Paul Cook: Arrival of Rommy Boco has ended Pompey right-back hunt

Rommy Boco. Picture: Joe Pepler
Rommy Boco. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Boco previously worked with Cook at Accrington, Sligo Rovers and Chesterfield
  • Versatile player so far made three appearances in Hawks loan spell

It has been a hunt in progress since Paul Cook arrived at Fratton Park.

Yet Pompey’s boss has now officially ended his right-back search following the recruitment of Rommy Boco.

Obviously it went a little bit wrong in India for him so that allowed an opportunity to come here. It has fallen into place where everyone is happy

Paul Cook

Although considered a utility player, Cook regards the 30-year-old as the missing competition for the increasingly-popular Ben Davies.

Previously the Blues had scoured the loan market, at one stage taking a look at Liverpool’s Connor Randall in the opening pre-season friendly against the Hawks.

Despite Davies taking on the mantle and impressing in his nine appearances to date, Cook had been keen on an alternative.

Now he has Boco, a free agent he previously worked with at Accrington Stanley, Sligo Rovers and Chesterfield.

The Benin international is currently on loan at the Hawks – accruing match fitness for a month – but is very much part of Cook’s plans.

He said: ‘I am not after a right-back anymore. I’m dead happy with what we have got.

‘Boco can play right-back without a doubt.

‘He can play anywhere on the pitch, he’s a natural footballer, handles the ball well, is very fit, has great energy and is a smashing lad.

‘He has played right-back before so gives me cover there. If Gareth Evans went right-back again Boco could also play higher up the pitch, so we have great cover now right the way through the squad and have versatility.

‘In terms of a right-back that is it now, I think the squad is balanced, we have enough players there at the minute.

‘We are always looking for a different player to come in – we always will – but at the moment we are happy.

‘I have signed him five or six times. I was player-coach at Accrington when he first signed. I was part of the package which recruited him, so all in all I know the lad really well.

‘He has been here a couple of months after coming to do a bit of training.

‘Obviously it went a little bit wrong in India for him so that allowed an opportunity to come here. It has fallen into place where everyone is happy.

‘Boco is a great lad, a really good player, a great role model for young lads with a really good level of professionalism and a great attitude.

‘He can play in numerous positions as well as right-back, so gives us great cover all over the pitch.’

Boco, who previously played for Indian side Bharat in the I-League, has made three appearances in his Hawks loan spell.

That includes an outing at right-back in Tuesday night’s 4-0 Hampshire Senior Cup win over AFC Bournemouth.

Cook added: ‘It’s just the opportunity for him to go and play some competitive games, while continuing to train with us.

‘It is down to Brads (Lee Bradbury) but hopefully he can start three or four games quickly, whereas for us a lot of our fixtures are Saturday-to-Saturday so it’s hard to get him on the bench.

‘After 28 days the likelihood is he has probably played a number of games, while we might have an injury or two or a suspension – so he can come into things match fit.’