Mahon keen to help Blues youngsters

Gavin Mahon, back centre, watches on as team-mate Johnny Ertl attempts to win the ball off former Fratton youngster Ryan Williams Picture: Joe Pepler
Gavin Mahon, back centre, watches on as team-mate Johnny Ertl attempts to win the ball off former Fratton youngster Ryan Williams Picture: Joe Pepler

There’s a wise and worldly 36-year-old head on Gavin Mahon’s shoulders.

And the veteran midfielder is hoping his presence can help educate the youngsters in Pompey’s playing squad.

Mahon has made more than 500 appearances in a career which has seen him play in all four divisions of the Football League, as well as the top level of the Conference.

He has also played for Watford in an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Southampton in 2003.

Now in the twilight of his footballing years, Mahon has signed on for the Blues for an initial month.

That could well be extended should the combative player make an impact at Fratton Park.

But the ex-QPR man is not merely focusing on breaking into the first team – he also wants to make an impression on the youngsters at the club.

He said: ‘I’m someone who talks well, a bit of a leader who tries to get everyone going around him.

‘The gaffer said he wanted someone with a bit of experience, especially with the young lads in and around the club.

‘They have not gone off the rails, but it’s a case of getting them back on track, bringing them back into reality about exactly what is needed to perform week-in, week-out.

‘It is tough for them. You get some young lads who train every day and then go home thinking in 12 months this is not going to be any different.

‘You want to refresh their minds and say “look, you’ve got a chance here so grab it, it’s not easy”.

‘When you are younger you can’t wait to get involved in the first team, you can’t wait to train with the first-team and be involved day in, day out.

‘I don’t know whether times have changed or players have changed.

‘You get some players now who come and train with the first team and they are nervous when they should be showing the manager and coaches what they are all about.

‘That is the mentality I was brought up with, that is probably why I have done so well in my career and managed to get myself back up to a decent level from at one stage playing non-league.’

So far, Mahon’s only Pompey appearance has come in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

He played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 victory at Oxford, with Newport County next on the horizon in the area quarter-finals.

With his existing deal expiring before that round – which commences the week beginning November 11 – it remains to be seen whether he will still be at Pompey.

He added: ‘Hopefully, if we get results and I can do okay then my contract here can be extended.

‘I’ve just got to concentrate on the games coming up and make sure I am ready and prepared.’