Walker happy to be Pompey wide-boy
MIDFIELDER Liam Walker promised playing on the left would suit him if it means winning a new Fratton Park deal.
The player reflected on his breakthrough season in the English game after making 28 Pompey appearances last term following his arrival from Gibraltar in the summer.
Walker spoke of his delight at fulfilling a lifetime’s dream and making it as a professional player on these shores.
The 25-year-old was happy enough with his form after moving from San Roque in the Spanish fourth tier to League One.
But he is seeking improvements as he bids to earn a Blues contract next season.
The creative talent was used across the midfield last season by former boss Michael Appleton and then Guy Whittingham, with a left-hand-side role the position he most frequently occupied.
Walker admitted an advanced central-midfield berth is his preferred place in the team.
The Gibraltar international is fully aware he isn’t able to dictate where he is employed, however.
Instead, Walker is focusing on earning an extension to his Pompey stay and improving on a solid start to life in the English game.
He said: ‘I’ve been playing football since I could walk, practically.
‘It’s been my whole life, so to get the move to Pompey last season was a big thing for me.
‘Obviously, all a player wants to do is be out on the pitch. So I won’t moan at where I’m playing. I would say my strongest role is in the middle as an attacking midfielder, but the gaffer has to look at his options.
‘He has to see who’s available, who isn’t and who he can get in their better positions.
‘I’ve been playing and then not playing but it was a good experience.
‘I’ve obviously learned a lot about the game in England. It’s obviously different to Spanish football.
‘My first season has taught me a lot. Now I want the second season to be even better than the first.
‘I haven’t just played five games all season, I had my games.
‘But maybe it seems less because I had a long time where I didn’t play.
‘I’ve always said you are there to train and then the gaffer picks the team for the game.
‘If you’re not in it, then you have to work hard and be ready for when you are in. That’s what I’m planning to do.’
Walker has already told of his summer training regime, as he bids to earn a new deal.
He is aiming to show Whittingham that he can handle the physical side of football in England’s basement tier next season.
The midfielder has been impressed with the 12 recruits Whittingham has already made this summer.
He thinks that gives Pompey every chance of success in the new campaign.
Walker said: ‘When I get back we’ll see what the goals are.
‘I’m here and thinking about getting the team back into League One next season, though.
‘From what I’ve seen, there is a good group coming together and it will be a good season.
‘We’re looking forward to next season.’