Rebuilding For The Future - Part II
By Jim Bonner
Updated Wednesday, 18th July 2012
Three more trialists look to impress Michael Appleton.
Three more trialists are to fly out to Spain to join the rest of the Pompey hopefuls. You probably won't have heard of these players, so here is a quick overview of each of them.
David Preece (Goalkeeper, Aged 35)
Released by Barnsley at the end of last season, Preece is now looking for a new club and is probably being looked at by Michael Appleton as backup to a younger stopper, given David's time warming the bench at previous clubs.
Having never made it at hometown club Sunderland, Preece made the short trip to Darlington where he became a regular starter. However, since leaving the Quakers in 1999 he has struggled to command first team places at Aberdeen and Sikeborg IF whilst he never made a senior appearance for Danish side OB in the 2008/2009 season.
He should provide some experience in the dressing room, but it's very doubtful Appy is looking at Preece as his new number one.
Julien Lopez (Winger, Aged 20)
Not much is known about Lopez as he barely played for French champions Montpellier and was mostly seen in their reserve team. Appleton says that he "has got good feet, likes playing in wide positions and coming off the line" but that's all we really know.
Internet sources say the Algerian/Spanish winger left Montpellier for French Ligue 2 side Arles Avignon and signed a three year deal. So why is he with Pompey?
Hopefully, he didn't spend any time training with John Utaka last season. Who knows what awful habits he might have picked up if he has!?
Sotiris Balafas (Defensive Midfielder/Centre Back, Aged 25)
Formerly a Greek U-21 international, Balafas made a name for himself at PAOK. A work colleague of mine supports PAOK and says that he would be a good signing for Pompey, but then he also believes Kostas Chalkias is an excellent goalkeeper.
Still, my colleague assures me that he is good at winning the ball and also has an eye for goal. He may be a coup for a League One club having impressed in Europa League games but Portsmouth has a history of Greek tragedies, hopefully Balafas won't be the latest one.