Young guns backed for bright Pompey futures
They are learning their careers in the non-league netherworld.
But Michael Doyle believes the two young guns educating themselves in the National League are the future of the Pompey midfield.
And the Blues skipper has highlighted Adam May, inset right, and Ben Close as the two most talented players in their position their club possesses.
The pair are both spending time away from Fratton Park, with May at Sutton United and Close gaining experience at Eastleigh.
Doyle praised the pair’s attitude as they seek to learn their trade out of the Pompey spotlight.
And the Irishman has no doubt how big they can be for their parent club in years to come.
Doyle said: ‘Adam’s a great kid, full of talent.
‘If you look at him, athletically, he’s still going to fill out a lot.
‘He’s going to be a good player.
‘There’s been a lot of interest in him over the years and it’s great to see him doing so well at Sutton.
‘There’s Ben Close as well.
‘Ben has had his struggles here at times.
‘They are players with a lot of ability and talent. I think eventually those two can be big players here.
‘They probably have to be a little bit patient because it’s going to take a bit of time.
‘Adam’s had the publicity but Ben has gone to Eastleigh and got his head down.
‘It’ll be great for him to get the games under his belt.
‘I think the pair of them, talent-wise, are the two best midfielders at the club in terms of their passing.
‘Technically they are right up there. It’s just about getting the experience under their belts and they will be two top players.’
While Close has gone about his loan quietly with Eastleigh, May’s stint with Sutton has developed into an unexpectedly high-profile affair.
That after the U’s had an exciting run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, beating AFC Wimbledon and Leeds before pushing Arsenal in a 2-0 loss.
Doyle feels, as well as having those memories, the physical element of football in the non-league will help May’s progress.
He said: ‘It’s worked out as a great loan for Adam.
‘Maybe he would have wanted to be involved here a little bit more.
‘You have to give him credit for having the guts to go out and play non-league football. I think it will be the making of him, I really do.
‘He’s got all the talent in the world.
‘I think he’s had a taste of real men’s football. That probably doesn’t suit him because he wants to play.
‘It’s nice he got the little reward of playing against Arsenal, too.
‘That was a game where he had to work hard and show his discipline.
‘That’s probably hard for Adam because he wants to get on the ball and play but he was excellent.’