Hart delighted seeing Portsmouth pair win rare pro deals

Portsmouth academy chief Paul Hart is delighted to see Matt Ritchie and Joel Ward signed to pro deals.

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The duo have become the first players to graduate on to professional contracts in two years following outstanding progress through the ranks.

And Hart is eager for more to follow their lead.

He told the Portsmouth News: 'Matt and Joel have been rewarded for their efforts but there are countless others doing well and there are countless others below 18 who have impressed to a degree.

"At lot of our kids have played in the reserves but they haven't got in there by me banging on the door, they've got in there because we've been short of players. We've got to address that and they've got to be going up there every step now on merit.

"Those boys have done well, don't get me wrong, but I want to say they are there in that team not because we've got injuries to the first team or whatever. They are in there because we can say 'yes, they're ready for it'.

"You do well you get rewards, because that is what life's like as a professional. You don't do well often enough you don't play very often. I always say to our boys, players pick teams not managers."

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