Johnny Ertl's Portsmouth move was a 'no-brainer'

Johnny Ertl

Johnny Ertl says his move to Portsmouth last summer was a 'no-brainer' despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the League One club.

The 30-year-old was released by Sheffield United at the end of last season before joining Pompey on a free transfer in August.

And the Austrian, who has since been made club captain, has no regrets about moving to Fratton Park.

"I'm enjoying my football here," Ertl told BBC Radio Solent.

"It's a brilliant club. I'm really grateful to them for giving me this opportunity to play week in, week out.

"With the court case coming up there's still this huge cloud of insecurity above Portsmouth football club. But soon I think those clouds will lift and we can go into a brighter future."

Ertl's move to the south coast ended an uncertain summer for the midfielder, who took to cycling in the Peak District and training in local parks as he looked to stay in shape.

"The summer was not easy for me to be honest because I was out of contract and looking for a club," Ertl said. "I kept myself fit with a personal trainer and did a lot myself in Sheffield.

"A good friend of mine who is a goalkeeper trained with me, but he is a really good piano player too and it's not a good fit. So when I warmed him up my strikes were always steady.

"Then I had a chance to train with Leyton Orient for two or three weeks because I knew Russell Slade from his time at Sheffield United.

"But the previous manager [Michael Appleton] called me and offered me the chance to play for Portsmouth and it was a no-brainer."

Ertl has developed something of a cult status among Portsmouth fans and is delighted with his blossoming relationship with the club's supporters.

"They are giving us so much," he enthused. "They travel across the country and I've never seen anything like it.

"On a Tuesday night, it's 19:45 GMT and 1,300 supporters have travelled to London during rush hour.

"We don't take that for granted and every single game we play right now is for the fans, to give them something back.

"It means a lot to me to have built this relationship with the fans because it's a fantastic club."

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