‘It didn’t sit right with me’: Liam Daish lifts lid on the controversial Portsmouth youngster clear-out blasted by fans and players

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Yet he is encouraged by improvements in procedure subsequently initiated by Danny Cowley and Greg Miller this season.

In April 2021, the Blues released Alfie Stanley, Harvey Rew, Eoin Teggart, Harry Kavanagh, Taylor Seymour, Charlie Bell, Tom Bruce, Gerard Storey and Harry Anderson.

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Yet had to deliver the bombshell to heartbroken youngsters, alongside head of education and welfare Jon Slater.

Daish told The News: ‘Obviously the lads had a tough final year, there were players that were released and I had to deliver that (decision).

‘I found it really difficult in the way no conversations really had been set up or had beforehand.

Alfie Stanley was among the young players controversially released in the summer of 2021. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

‘It was just “Well we’re not taking him, him and him” and then having to go and deliver that news to players, which was really tough.

‘That’s just how some clubs work, some don’t, some people see it, some people don’t. But it didn’t sit right with me.

‘I’ve always tried to have the players’ best interests at heart, I always want to try to support them and will continue to support them even though I’m no longer working in and around the club.

‘Looking back, it was difficult for myself and Jon Slater delivering that news, but I suppose that’s football.

‘It wasn’t my decision, we got the brief of what was happening. The sporting director (Gagliardi) was still involved and a lot of decisions came off the back of what he thought.

‘It was difficult, you wanted a bit more feedback about why they were being let go. Every club works differently and I’m not here to criticise, it was just the way it was, but it was hard for me, the players and Jon.

‘It was more detailed this year, to be fair, and Danny was more interested in what our opinions were.

‘Last year Danny came on the back end of it and hadn’t seen a lot of the lads.’

Harrison Brook and Seok Jae Lee also departed in the summer of 2021, having turned down offers to remain at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘I’m just happy that those lads have gone and found a way.

‘They are enjoying their football, they’re playing senior football, maybe that was the pathway for them, they haven’t sulked and dropped out.

‘They are all playing senior football at a young age and that’s excellent – I’m really proud of them for doing that.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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