Barcham aims for brighter Pompey future

Pompey winger Andy Barcham Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Andy Barcham Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Barcham gladly turned his back on 2014 – and has targeted brighter times ahead with Pompey.

The flying winger has re-emerged from the Blues doldrums to force his way back into Andy Awford’s first-team plans.

The 28-year-old was a shock name on the teamsheet for the trip to Luton on December 28, having returned to the squad two games previously.

That outing marked only his fifth start and 18th appearance of a calendar year blighted by injury and a spell when he fell out of favour.

Barcham, however, turned in an impressive display on the left flank in the 1-1 draw with the Hatters to remind fans what he has to offer.

And he is relishing a fresh year to fulfil his footballing desires.

‘I have to say 2014 has been tough for me. At times it has been difficult to stay positive, really difficult. It has been very frustrating,’ admitted Barcham.

‘To be honest, I did have my ups and downs where it is frustrating and hard, but it’s the same for everyone when out of the team.

‘The way I look at it, I could accept it or keep trying, working hard, keep fit and remain ready for when I am eventually called upon.

‘When I joined (summer of 2013) I was really enjoying it, it was fantastic, I was loving my football, I was so happy. I still am, it’s a fantastic club, it really is, but obviously it has been frustrating not playing.

‘There is no point in sulking, I have been in the game a long while now and throwing your dummy out of the pram is not going to get you anywhere. The only thing you can do is keep going.

‘It is part and parcel of football I guess. It has been a mixture of all things keeping me out. Obviously, I have had a couple of injuries but it is not just that.

‘I have had a few things, it’s just life and football. It has been a roller-coaster journey, up and down, and obviously I have been on a down because I wasn’t in the team.

‘But there is a big part of the season still left to play and I am determined to be part of it.’

Barcham missed the final 14 matches of last season through a thigh injury.

He returned for pre-season, featuring in every match, and started the first fixture of the season at Exeter.

But the former Gillingham man’s appearances became sporadic and a groin problem sidelined him for seven matches before returning last month.

A goal-scoring return for the reserves at Leyton Orient paved the way – now he is bidding for a regular first-team spot.

He added: ‘People can take what they want out of a reserve game, but I have not had many minutes this season so that is my game time.

‘That is the thing that keeps your match sharpness. You can train all you like but there’s nothing like match fitness, so for me in those games I give my all because it keeps you ticking over.’