Cherries picked as Pompey pre-season is completed

PREMIER LEAGUE Bournemouth are coming to Fratton Park.
Former Pompey player Alan McLoughlin, rightFormer Pompey player Alan McLoughlin, right
Former Pompey player Alan McLoughlin, right

The Cherries will provide the opposition for Alan McLoughlin’s benefit game on Saturday, July 23 (3pm).

That means the Blues’ pre-season has now taken shape ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

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The Bournemouth clash means another return to Fratton Park for old boy Matt Ritchie after an impressive maiden top-flight season.

And the visitors have shown their class by donating their half of the gate receipts to McLoughlin’s benefit fund.

The match will be Pompey’s first Fratton friendly for two years, after having work carried out on their pitch last summer.

And, as well as watching a top-flight side in action, the prospect of supporting a Blues hero in McLoughlin will provide fans with motivation to turn out.

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The former Republic of Ireland midfielder remains a huge Pompey favourite for the loyalty shown to the club during his time as both a player and coach.

The 49-year-old made 354 appearances after joining in 1992 under Jim Smith.

His goal against Nottingham Forest put Smith’s team into the FA Cup semi-finals shortly after his arrival.

McLoughlin went on to score 67 goals for the club – including a memorable hat-trick at Premier League big-spenders Blackburn in 1994.

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He later served Pompey as both Academy and first-team coach until his departure at the end of 2014.

The Bournemouth game completes Pompey’s pre-season programme.

The club have yet to confirm the tour to Ireland, but a stay across the Irish Sea is set to take place from July 4-10.

That includes games against Sligo Rovers (July 6) and Bohemians (July 9).

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Pompey will then go to the Hawks on Wednesday, July 13 (7pm).

National League South champions Sutton United provide the opposition on Saturday, July 16 (3pm) at Gander Green Lane.

Pompey go to Steve Claridge’s Salisbury to take on the Wessex League Premier champions at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium on Tuesday, July 19 (7pm).

Bognor then provide the opposition on Wednesday July 27 at Nyewood Lane (7.15pm).

A trip to Bristol City rounds off the preparations for the season when the game marks the opening of their new West Stand on Saturday, July 30 (3pm).