Etuhu opts to go distance with Pompey

Pompey midfielder Kelvin Etuhu Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey midfielder Kelvin Etuhu Picture: Robin Jones

Have boots, will travel – 7,200 miles.

That was the total distance Kelvin Etuhu racked up in an attempt to win a Pompey contract.

The former Manchester City midfielder had been trialling at the club since November.

It was a no-expenses-paid trip which involved an 180-mile and four-hour round trip from his Surrey home every training day.

For Etuhu, the effort paid off handsomely as last week he secured a Blues contract until the end of the season.

In addition, there is a clause for an additional 12 months should he suitably impress.

The 23-year-old came out of prison in August after being sentenced to eight months for assault outside a Manchester casino.

And desperate to get back into full-time football, it was a journey he was all too willing to make.

He said: ‘I spent two-and-a-half months on trial at Portsmouth.

‘I was kept under the radar, no-one knew I was there. It has definitely been kept under wraps.

‘The manager had seen me play before. He contacted somebody I am really close to and asked if it was possible to get me down to have a look at me.

‘I travelled every day from London and trained every day.

‘It worked out at 90 miles, taking me 1hr 45mins coming back and just over two hours in the morning because of the traffic.

‘You go to players who have been at big clubs and you say to them “right, you have to travel in every day and train, you don’t know what’s going to happen around the corner and you are not going to get expenses” and they are not going to be interested.

‘But for me, I just wanted to play football and I came in the first week, liked the manager, liked the players, liked what they wanted to do at the club and said “do you know what, however long it takes I will keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully get a contract”.

‘This is the club where I want to rebuild my career and I want to give back to the manager and fans who had faith in me.’