Ashley Harris has the strength of character to prove the doubters wrong after his Pompey rejection, according to his new manager.
The 20-year-old talent was released from Fratton Park in the summer and has since been without a club.
But the Purbrook-based forward has signed a deal with Conference South outfit Gosport Borough until the end of the season as he looks to re-ignite his career.
And Borough boss, Alex Pike, is certain that Harris has the desire to find a way back into the professional ranks.
Pike said: ‘If you have gone through what he went through with Pompey, you need to be a strong character.
‘That’s why he got a professional contract in the first place.
‘I don’t think it will affect him or take time to get over that – I think it will have the reverse effect and he clearly wants to prove people wrong.
‘He was a fans’ favourite at Pompey but a player of that ability can get released and then left without a club until October. That’s how savage the pro game can be at times.
‘You need to be strong to handle that and I’m sure he is.
‘I believe in the lad. He has got ability to play at this level and much higher.
‘He has the ambition to get back into the pro game and he can use us as a stepping stone.
‘He’s hungry and I want to tap into that to get him playing well for Gosport Borough.
‘We are just happy that we can attract players like him.’
Harris has been training with Aldershot and the Hawks recently but was not offered a contract.
But he was hoping to make his Borough debut in the FA Cup clash at Maidenhead today after joining the squad.
Pike said: ‘He hasn’t played many games lately but his fitness levels are pretty good. He’s not a million miles away.’