Bognor and Pompey forward Lethbridge told what he needs to do to succeed in football

Bognor loan star Bradley Lethbridge has been told: You have the ability to become a Football League player.

Brad Lethbridge on the ball for the Rocks against Margate / Picture: Tommy McMillan
Brad Lethbridge on the ball for the Rocks against Margate / Picture: Tommy McMillan

But the forward must knuckle down in order to fulfil his potential.

It is understood Pompey have informed Lethbridge that he will be released at the end of the season. The Gosport lad, who signed third-year scholarship terms at Fratton Park last summer, has made three appearances Kenny Jackett's side – scoring in a 2-2 Leasing.com Trophy draw at Oxford in October.

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Lethbridge has spent a large portion of the past two seasons on loan at Bognor, netting 20 times in 71 games.

Various injuries this season have hampered his progress, however, although he’s bagged seven goals in 28 outings.

Rocks first-team coach Robbie Blake is adamant Lethbridge has all of the attributes to go on and make it as a professional footballer. But the man who was part of both Paul Cook and Kenny Jackett's Blues backroom set-ups believes the 19-year-old must start showing the right application and commitment.

Blake said: "Brad has loads of ability but at times he isn’t as dedicated or professional as he possibly can be. If he can do that then you have a player on your hands. I know he is still young but that is what he has to do if he’s to get back in the fold.

‘"hen he first came to Bognor and he was fit and strong, he was bordering on unplayable. He was electric. He’s quick, strong, has an eye for goal and can assist goals.

"This season, he’s had a few injuries but perhaps, in my opinion, hasn’t gone on and showed the progression he should have done. This kid scored for Pompey in a competitive game away at Oxford, but he has to understand he must put in the work to get where he wants to be.

"When I was playing, at times you could get away with it by not being as professional as some players. You had 50 per cent being professional and 50 per cent not being professional. Now it is 100 per cent of players being professional.

"In terms of excitement and from a coach's point of view, there is no-one better than Brad in full flow."

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