JUST IN: Portsmouth announce exciting stadium plans in hunt for permanent home

Jay Sadler’s side drew an attendance of 1,846 to Westleigh Park for the December FA Cup defeat to Southampton.

Pompey Women 7 Plymouth 0 - News - Portsmouth

Fratton Park might be Pompey Women’s permanent home stadium in three years.

That’s the ambitious message from director Eric Coleborn, as the high-flying club plans a return to the island.

Should Jay Sadler’s National League Southern Premier Division leaders win promotion to the Championship next season, they intend to stay at an enhanced Westleigh Park.

Furthermore, up to five matches are scheduled for Fratton Park in 2024-25, including a league meeting against Southampton.

Pompey Women have had many home audiences of over 1,000 this season and believe they have outgrown the Moneyfields-based John Jenkins Stadium as a potential venue.

However, they are optimistic that a true Fratton Park reunion will be possible in the ‘not too distant future’.

Coleborn, a former Pompey Women chairman, told The News: ‘Our goal is to play all of our games at Fratton Park, and that is not a pipe dream.

‘We intend to move to Fratton Park in the near future, and the owners agree.

‘Hopefully, we’ll be in the Championship next season and stay at Havant & Waterlooville while making the required improvements to achieve the criteria.

‘But you need to plan for everything. We are currently working on several possible scenarios, one of which involves relocation to Fratton Park in three years.

‘Everything is expanding at this club; there has never been a moment when both the men’s and women’s teams have been at the top of the league simultaneously.

‘Our chairwoman, Jane Eisner, attended the last home game against Chatham Town, together with Michael, Eric, and several Tornante staff. They also watched Sunday’s Newcastle United game on YouTube from America.

Coleborn’s conviction in a future at Fratton Park has been underlined by head coach Sadler.

Andy Cullen’s excitement for the proposal has also encouraged him, having previously overseen MK Dons’ embrace of both their men’s and women’s teams at Stadium MK as executive director.

Sadler added: “Andy has been fantastic.” He’s pushed for three or four games at Fratton Park this season, and I have to accept responsibility for why that hasn’t occurred yet.

‘We’ve been winning games at Westleigh Park on a 3G pitch, and when we get 1,000 people, you can feel and hear it. So far, we’ve stayed clear.

‘However, I believe it is possible to play 3-5 games at Fratton Park next season. Obviously, any practicality depends on the pitch. We have a strong rapport with Neil Stephenson (head groundsman), and I understand that the men’s squad prioritizes the pitch’s condition.

‘We have to facilitate that, and we’re pleased to stay in Havant. But the long-term goal, perhaps in 3-5 years, is for the women’s squad to play all of their games at Fratton Park. With Andy at the lead, I’m convinced that will happen.

‘There are a lot of hoops the club must jump through to make it happen on the pitch, but it can provide us with a larger platform to try to create more income and enhance exposure in the city.’

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