Jack Maloney has been challenged to revel in his Poole Town experience as his Pompey career enters a key period.
The 19-year-old joined Southern League premier division leaders Poole Town last week on an initial month’s loan.
It represents precious game time for the Isle of Wight-born winger who has not made a Blues first-team appearance since the clash with Southend United on November 26, 2013.
Regardless, Maloney has 13 appearances for Pompey and continues to be a regular for the reserves, featuring in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth in midweek.
But with his contract up next summer, Alan McLoughlin is hoping time at Poole can benefit the youngster’s development.
And with two assists on his debut in their 5-4 victory over Paulton Rovers after appearing as a substitute, Maloney has already made an instant impact.
Joint first-team coach McLoughlin said: ‘Jack Maloney will benefit from the 72 minutes he played for the reserves and also with another game at Poole coming up.
‘That is a good incentive for Jack because when he came on for them last Saturday he changed the game.
‘They were behind 4-2 in the game when he came on and he set up two goals, so his confidence will be high – and it’s a good standard.
‘Jack needs to get out and play. Obviously it is a key year for him, he needs to play some games and it was positive Saturday and for the reserves as well.
‘When I played at Swindon I was told I was going to Torquay on loan, there were no ifs, buts and why nots.
‘You go and ply your trade and it is about how you react to going somewhere with a new environment.
‘You have got to get your head down, be the best player while you are there and show them you are a good player.
‘Then he comes back hopefully with confidence and can step up a fraction more – that is what we want.
‘We just try to look after our players and one or two might also go out on loan as the season goes on if it’s the right time and right fit for them.’
Maloney had a hand in Ben Close’s opener in the reserve-team draw with the Cherries at the Hamworthy Club.
He has twice made first-team squads this season – Peterborough and Dagenham & Redbridge – without appearing.
Last season the winger had loan spells at Aldershot and Lewes.