Fans’ choice Holmes targets bright Pompey future

Ricky Holmes
Ricky Holmes

Ricky Holmes toasted his player-of-the-season crown – and targeted a brighter future for Pompey.

The 26-year-old won The News/Sports Mail accolade as chosen by our readers.

Heading off competition from Trevor Carson and Jed Wallace, it capped an impressive maiden Fratton Park season from the winger who made 45 appearances.

Fittingly, his delightful cross conjured up the hat-trick goal for Danny Hollands in Saturday’s 3-3 draw against Plymouth in the final fixture of the campaign.

Holmes has now etched his name alongside the likes of Peter Mellor, Noel Blake, Mick Quinn, Arjan De Zeeuw, Linvoy Primus, David James, Glen Johnson and Jason Pearce on The News’ trophy.

And he admitted it was a proud moment in his career so far.

He said: ‘I’d like to thank all those people who voted for me and hopefully next season we can kick on and get promoted.

‘I am probably the only one no-one has ever heard of, but I’ll take that!

‘It’s a good achievement for me. I knew it was between me and Trev (Carson) in the end. They picked the right one!

‘I’ve won a player-of-the-season trophy a couple of times in my career but considering the magnitude of this club this takes you to the next level.

‘Macca (Alan McLoughlin) soon came over to me and said “my name’s on there”.

‘Players like that are heroes at the club and I have joined their names, so it’s a proud moment for me.

‘They are all legends at the club but I’m sure I will be forgotten in about three years!’

Holmes has epitomised revitalised Pompey under the guidance of Andy Awford, returning to his best form.

He has been a chief creative threat – from the left wing and dead-ball situations.

An 89th-minute equaliser from Conor Hourihane on Saturday prevented the Blues finishing ninth in League Two.

Instead they had to settle for 13th spot but Holmes is loving his football again.

He added: ‘It has been up and down. I have given my all but we were held back as attacking players a little bit under the last manager and we defended a lot.

‘Under Awfs we now get licence to go and express ourselves.

‘The last seven games countless goals have been scored and it has been exciting to play in.

‘I think you get the best out of all the front four doing that. I’m enjoying my football again and hopefully we can all take that on again to next season.’

Holmes picked up a few knocks and bruises during the second half against the Pilgrims.

Now he’s relishing a summer off to recharge his batteries before returning to Fratton Park next season.

He said: ‘The only knock I got was from Foggy (Wes Fogden) – my own player running into me and it was killing me!

‘Forty-five games is a long season and I’ll always go out there and give my all – every game I will run as hard as I can.

‘I just feel shattered now and 
can’t wait to get on a beach somewhere!’