Ryan Bird reflected on his Pompey dream coming true and promised: I’ll be waiting for my chance.
The former non-league hotshot admitted he is still pinching himself after inking a one-year deal with the Blues.
The 25-year-old came to Pompey’s attention after a stunning season in the Southern League central division with Burnham, where he bagged a phenomenal 45 goals.
He followed that up with a two-goal show in 45 minutes in the pre-season curtain-raiser against the Hawks.
Bird then departed for a planned holiday before returning last week.
Guy Whittingham wasted no time in adding the 6ft 4in marksman to his attacking options as he beat off a string of League Two sides to land his target.
It’s an amazing transition for a player who has operated as a striker for just two seasons.
Bird is setting his sights on an accelerated learning curve now as Pompey prepare to start their League Two campaign.
And he is determined to be ready to take his opportunity if it arrives.
Bird said: ‘It’s unbelievable. It still hasn’t kicked in that I play for Portsmouth.
‘It’s been ridiculous really, I can’t describe the feeling.
‘I did start to wonder if my chance had gone, so I’m pinching myself I’m here.
‘The gaffer has said be patient, so that’s what I’m going to be.
‘I’m not expecting to walk into the team coming from non-league.
‘So I’m going to work hard in training and get as fit as I can.
‘Hopefully when the chance comes I’ll take it.
‘I score goals – that’s what I do. Goalscoring is an instinct for me.
‘Anywhere in the box I try to get a shot off.
‘I’m going to be ready and raring to go. I want to be prepared to take my chance when it comes.
‘I’m not sure how many minutes I’m going to get just yet.
‘But I’m going to be in the gym, running, training and listening.
‘I’ll get my head down, work as hard as I can and be ready to play.’
Bird amazingly revealed he has never been coached as a striker in his career to date.
But now he is looking forward to learning from a manager who took a similar route into the professional ranks.
Bird said: ‘I’ve never been coached as an attacker. It’s just been instinct.
‘So I’m looking forward to learning and I’ve not got a bad bunch to learn from!’
‘Guy comes from the same background as me, playing non-league football.
‘He was a bargain and the same age as me when he joined the club.
‘He shows me it can be done – and there are a few other players like him.
‘Geoff Horsfield came through late and Ian Wright is another one.
‘It’s every lad’s dream to become a footballer.
‘I’ll do whatever it takes to make it.’