Pompey to unveil new defensive recruit

Ben Chorley
Ben Chorley
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Pompey are today set to complete the signing of Ben Chorley on an 18-month contract.

The central defender is leaving Stevenage by mutual consent which paves the way for a Fratton Park switch.

However, the 31-year-old will not be available for this coming weekend’s trip to Morecambe as he is serving a ban.

Chorley was given a straight red card, playing for Stevenage earlier this month at Oldham in what has proven to be his final match for the club.

He has already served two of the three matches covered by his suspension for violent conduct.

Now, after 14 appearances in the last year for the Lamex Stadium outfit, he is moving to Pompey.

The former Arsenal trainee is regarded as a big, tough, no-nonsense defender who has captained several of his former clubs.

Richie Barker sees him as a player who can bring natural leadership to the pitch as well as controlled aggression, something missing from the Blues this season.

The captaincy remains an issue with Johnny Ertl, Joe Devera, Simon Ferry and David Connolly all handed it on occasions this season.

When Ferry was forced off against Mansfield on Saturday through more hamstring trouble, Patrick Agyemang instead took up the armband.

Yet Chorley was club captain at previous teams MK Dons and Leyton Orient and will bring that added voice to the Pompey dressing room.

The defender’s time at Stevenage has been hampered by a succession of injuries over a nine-month period.

He underwent a double hernia operation in March last year, ruling him out for the remainder of that campaign.

Subsequently, a combination of calf and thigh problems have hindered Chorley’s availability for Graham Westley’s side this season.

He returned to the first-team in December and made six appearances in just over a month before his Boundary Park dismissal.

That period reflected his successful return from his frustrating time with injury.

And now he is making the switch to Fratton Park.

His arrival will raise questions over the future of Bondz N’Gala as the new arrival challenges with Joe Devera and Sonny Bradley for a first-team spot in the centre of defence.

Jack Whatmough and Adam Webster can also play in that position, giving Barker plenty of depth there.

Pompey will be Chorley’s eighth club.

He has also played at Arsenal, Brentford, MK Dons, Gillingham, Tranmere, Leyton Orient and Stevenage.

Chorley’s best spell came at Orient, playing 159 games and scoring nine goals in three-and-a-half years.

The big defender has played 431 games in total and scored 17 goals.