Enda Stevens: Time for me to kick on at Pompey

Enda Stevens in action for Northampton last season
Enda Stevens in action for Northampton last season
  • Left-back made nine appearances for Aston Villa
  • Last season completing feat of playing in every division

By Enda Stevens’ own frank admission, it is time to kick on.

And the left-back is convinced dropping into the bottom division of the Football League can reap rewards in the long term.

I need to kick on and hopefully get a good pre-season under my belt and hit the ground running

Enda Stevens

The Irishman was a coveted player when he entered the Premier League with Aston Villa back in the summer of 2012.

Since then the ex-Shamrock Rovers star has subsequently appeared in every English division.

Now 24, despite nine appearances for Villa, Stevens has spent the vast majority of his time fulfilling loan spells at Doncaster (twice), Northampton and Notts County.

Yet Pompey have stepped forward to offer prized stability in the form of a two-year deal.

And Stevens is well aware he must use the opportunity to kick-start his climb back up the English leagues.

He said: ‘This is where I need to be playing.

‘I need to kick on and hopefully get a good pre-season under my belt and hit the ground running.

‘After joining Villa, I played a few times but then didn’t really kick on from there, which is disappointing. My time there was pretty much up so I was just going out on loan.

‘I actually really enjoyed myself at Doncaster, I liked the lads, the manager and the staff.

‘It’s a good club, but at the end of the day it’s still not really your club because you are on loan.

‘I needed a club to settle down in and Portsmouth was too good to turn down, especially with what the manager wants to do with it.

‘When he talks to you about his ambition for this season and the year after you definitely get the impression it is a club on the up.

‘Looking back at Villa, I had high hopes, then picked up an injury against Reading and never really came back.

‘There were two matches after but I didn’t play too well.

‘You don’t get too many chances in the Premier League and it has been clear for a long time I had to go and find a new club.

‘The way I look at it, in terms of divisions you can take a step back to go forward – and I see that happening at Portsmouth.’

Last season Stevens made 32 appearances for Rovers in League One, while in October 2014 also had a spell at Northampton in League Two.

In 2013-14, he turned out for Doncaster in the Championship and had three months at Notts County in League One.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international yesterday spent his first day at Pompey during the return to pre-season training.

And he’s hoping to become a Blues regular to display his worth.

He added: ‘I think I did well at Doncaster last season, it could have been a great year if we had made the play-offs but we fell just short.

‘I played regularly there and also spent a month at Northampton getting games in as I hadn’t been playing for Villa.

‘Now I’m looking forward to trying to stake my claim in Portsmouth’s side.’