The Pompey Bunch uniting their team

Gabor Gyepes, left, and Johnny Ertl are not only team-mates on the pitch but house-mates off it, too Picture: Joe Pepler
Gabor Gyepes, left, and Johnny Ertl are not only team-mates on the pitch but house-mates off it, too Picture: Joe Pepler

It’s Pompey’s very own version of the Brady Bunch.

And captain Johnny Ertl has lifted the lid on the house that is uniting the Blues’ dressing room.

This season has seen Pompey introduce their own club property to accommodate the never-ending conveyor belt of players coming in and out of Fratton Park.

With 51 players used in the campaign to date, the house has played a key role in allowing new team-mates to get to know each other.

The likes of Ertl, Gabor Gyepes and Simon Eastwood have all been mainstays of Pompey Towers in the campaign to date.

But then there has been players like Mustapha Dumbuya, Lubomir Michalik, Adam Reed, Frankie Sutherland and a host of others who have all been part of the Blues football family before flying the nest.

And there was even space for Jon Harley, who dropped by at the weekend after watching his old side beat Bury.

Having a load of grown men in the close confines of one house brings about its pros, as well as its cons, of course.

Not every player’s musical tastes are necessarily to everyone’s agreement, for example. And then there are the bad habits.

Ertl has been there for the long haul, and the Austrian has now delivered an insight into life in the Pompey house.

He believes it has been a positive tool in bringing players together – and can be seen in the dressing room spirit at the club.

Ertl said: ‘The house has been a good place to get to know everyone.

‘The energy has definitely changed because Mustapha Dumbuya and Lubomir Michalik have left.

‘They were older and experienced and then Adam Reed came in.

‘In the beginning it was good to move in because I didn’t know any players.

‘When you move into a club house you get a feeling and an understanding with players.

‘We’re cooking together and every player brings a piece of their mentality to the house.

‘I don’t think I’ll be there for a long time in the future.

‘It’s not always easy. But I have really enjoyed my time there.

‘We watch a lot of football and talk about it together.

‘The club house is part of my history, because I have done it for the first time at the age of 30.

‘I would never have chosen this experience but it’s been really funny.’

Pompey Towers has also had a decidedly international feel to it over the course of the season. And that melting pot of cultures and backgrounds has made for an intriguing collision.

Ertl explained the kitchen has been an interesting place in recent months.

He said: ‘There is always a lot of really interesting food being cooked.

‘I miss Mussa (Dumbuya) because he had a coconut rice from Africa he would cook.

‘This was really nice, but then Lubo and Gabor would cook goulash.

‘It’s different mentalities and personalities and it gives you some experience of the places they are from.’