Enda Stevens relishing Pompey ‘total football’

New Pompey left-back Enda Stevens
New Pompey left-back Enda Stevens
  • Stevens played against Sligo Rovers and Chesterfield when managed by Cook
  • The 24-year-old is Pompey’s third recruit of the summer
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ENDA STEVENS has revealed how Paul Cook’s ‘total football’ lured him to Fratton Park.

The Irishman this week became the third signing of the new regime following his release from Aston Villa.

I remember his Sligo side playing very attractive football, that is what he is known for, his brand of football is very entertaining

Enda Stevens

Despite a loan regular at Doncaster Rovers last term, the 24-year-old had no qualms dropping down to League Two.

For Stevens, it was the prized opportunity to play under a manager he knows plenty about.

Over the years the left-back has encountered Cook’s teams in both League One and the League of Ireland’s premier division.

He has also faced Galway United and Dundalk when they were managed by new Blues first-team coach Ian Foster.

And Stevens is eager to play the brand of attractive football they are associated with.

He said: ‘If you look at Paul Cook’s record, it is very good. He’s a successful manager and I think will do very well here.

‘With the calibre of players he is signing I can see us being very strong in the league.

‘At Sligo Rovers he always made the FAI Cup final.

‘Every season his teams had something to play for, and he brought that over here to Chesterfield. Hopefully that can carry on.

‘I remember his Sligo side playing very attractive football. That is what he is known for – his brand of football is very entertaining.

‘It is total football. He likes his teams to pass the ball, wants players to have most of the possession in every game and just be entertaining.

‘The gaffer wants me to be up and down the left. He will encourage me – as will the other lads – to go and express myself, and I think that is really important for me as a footballer.

‘That is what every footballer wants to do.

‘I like to keep the ball, get forward, put balls into the box and hopefully create a lot of goals, as well as defending. I like to attack.

‘I know Ian Foster as well. We (Shamrock Rovers) ended up beating his Dundalk team in a final and I’ve come across him a few times.

‘Their knowledge of the game and the way they like to play was a massive influence on my coming to the club and being eager to sign.’

Cook is currently in the early stages of rebuilding the Blues as he continues to overhaul the squad he inherited.

Stevens joined Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith as pre-season arrivals, while a total of 11 have left through the Fratton Park exit.

Gary Roberts will be the next to sign, while Michael Doyle is getting closer to a switch.

And Stevens is impressed with his new surroundings.

He added: ‘In my eyes this is a minimum Championship club.

‘The main aim for everyone who plays for Portsmouth is promotion.

‘The players understand how big the club is and the fan base it possesses, while the stadium and training ground are really good.’