Monday 10 December 2018

Ex-Derry man Curtis loving life at Pompey thanks to dream start

Curtis has scored three times in his four starts for Pompey and made three goals too in their 100 per cent start to the campaign under Kenny Jackett. Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Curtis has scored three times in his four starts for Pompey and made three goals too in their 100 per cent start to the campaign under Kenny Jackett. Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Portsmouth have gone to hell and back and a summer buy from the League of Ireland is driving their positive start to the League One season.

Ireland U-21 Ronan Curtis has hit the ground running with his new club following his summer switch from Derry City and his late winner at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night has prolonged his honeymoon period.

Curtis has scored three times in his four starts for Pompey and made three goals too in their 100 per cent start to the campaign under Kenny Jackett.

He's thriving at a big club that has designs on a return to the Championship.

Financial problems lay at the heart of Pompey's slide from the high of FA Cup success in 2008 to life in League Two with question marks over the future of the club.

The supporters played a major part in getting the show back on the road and former Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook secured promotion from League Two before departing for Wigan.

With ex-Wolves boss Jackett at the helm, they competed for promotion last term before falling just short.

Curtis was identified as a player that could help them out this time around and he's made an instant impression since finishing up with Derry before the League of Ireland mid-season break in June.

It was another dramatic night for the 22-year-old on Tuesday as his side were in control until he gave away a penalty to let Rovers back into it.

However, he popped up with a late strike to keep the good vibes going.

"If someone had said to me when I came here that you're going to score three goals and set up three then I'd have said, 'No way'," said Curtis after the Bristol exploits.

"But that has happened and that's what I've come to do at Pompey. That's why the gaffer has put his faith in me and I've opened up doing well for him."

Curtis is a versatile enough player who is comfortable on the left side of a front three but is also capable of making an impact through the middle.

He was born in London and moved to Donegal in his youth where he lived in St Johnston and eventually made his way to neighbouring Derry.

Last summer, a move to Swedish side Ostersunds collapsed just before they embarked on a run into the Europa League group stages.

Curtis was keen on moving to England and his form is sure to be capturing the attention of Martin O'Neill.

Meanwhile, an old favourite of O'Neill - midfielder Stephen Quinn - has signed a short term deal with League One side Burton Albion.

Quinn left Reading in the summer with injuries dogging the Dubliner since he was part of the Ireland squad at Euro 2016.

Nigel Clough has handed Quinn a deal until January. "I had the time off over the summer to get the body right, and get that buzz and love for the game back again. I've come down here and certainly got that," said Quinn.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport