After years of financial problems and points deductions, Portsmouth finally had something to celebrate at the end of the 2016/17 as they won promotion back into League One.
Under Paul Cook’s stewardship, Pompey won the League Two title and a dawning of optimism fell upon the Fratton Park faithful. Good times may finally be returning.
A spanner was thrown into the works, however, when Cook decided to leave his post as Pompey manager after being offered the Wigan Athletic job after their relegation from the Championship.
Kenny Jacket was brought in and set about trying to rebuild the optimism lost after Cook’s departure.
One summer signing, in particular, helped him do that with ease as he brought in Brett Pittman from Ipswich Town.
— Portsmouth FC (@officialpompey) July 14, 2017
It was a signing that got the fans very excited. Pitman had shown his quality in the past having scored 100 goals during his time at Bournemouth and everyone was excited to see what he could produce on the south coast.
@TemplerIsle raining ☔️ goals
— Gaz (@IdolMind_Gaz) July 14, 2017
Great signing. Getting a few really good signings tied up with plenty of time for them to gel with the current squad. #PitmanAnnounced ????????????✅
— S A M • H A R R I S (@sammyh1985) July 14, 2017
Yes yes that awesome signing.
— Marc Vinnicombe (@MarcVinnie16) July 14, 2017
Great signing PUP
— Keven Gevaux-Ross (@kgrbison) July 14, 2017
The goals were far from a sure thing, however. He arrived at Fratton Park having scored just four goals in 22 appearances for Ipswich in what was a terribly injury-hit campaign.
But having been made captain of his new club, Pitman was clearly determined to show what he could do.
He got off to a brilliant start, scoring twice on the opening day against Rochdale and in his first ten games he already had eight goals.
Pitman’s mojo had clearly returned and it was now just a question of him keeping fit, and aside from a couple of spells where he missed a few matches, he remained injury free.
By the end of the campaign he had scored an impressive 24 goals in 38 league games for Pompey, a total bettered only by Peterborough United’s Jack Marriott, as they agonisingly missed out on the playoff places.
But Pitman had shown that the fans were absolutely right to be excited by his arrival in the summer.