AFC Portchester sign a very experienced EFL player let go by Bristol Rovers in Brett Pitman, a signing surprising many on Friday afternoon.
The 34 year old has spent most of his career at AFC Bournemouth in two separate spells, totalling 102 goals in 301 games.
After starting his career on his native island of Jersey, he moved to Bournemouth as a 16-year-old and went on to become a regular in their first team, helping them avoid relegation from the Football League in 2009 and earn promotion a year later. In August 2010, he moved to Championship side Bristol City.
In November 2012 he was loaned back to Bournemouth, until making the deal permanent in January 2013, and contributed to them winning the Football League Championship title in 2015. He then signed for Ipswich Town, then Portsmouth two years later.
On the 4th of September 2020, Pitman signed for newly promoted League One club Swindon Town on a one-year deal, but at the end of the season, the club triggered extensions to his and Jonathan Grounds’s contracts, though after staff were not paid their wages for June, neither he nor Grounds turned up to pre-season training.
On the 30th of July 2021 Pitman’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent and he joined Bristol Rovers the same day on a one-year deal. On the 29th of January 2022, following a 1–0 home victory against Walsall, a match Pitman was not in the squad for, manager Joey Barton revealed that Pitman would be allowed to leave the club before the transfer deadline day two days later.
Having spent the second half of the season away on loan, Pitman was released at the end of the season following Rovers’ immediate promotion back to League One. On the 3rd of February 2022, Pitman joined National League side Eastleigh on loan until the end of the 2021–22 season. Pitman made seventeen appearances for the club, scoring one goal in a 5–3 defeat to Solihull Moors.
Following his release from Bristol Rovers, Pitman joined Wessex League side AFC Portchester on a one-year deal, signing in a player/coach role.
NEW SIGNING NUMBER FIVE
We are delighted to welcome Brett Pitman to AFC Portchester.
He joins us from League 1 side Bristol Rovers following his release by the west country club. pic.twitter.com/2cfw2kGjGI
— AFC Portchester (@AFCPortchester) July 1, 2022
AFC Portchester have signed former Pompey striker Brett Pitman for the 2022-23 season.
Pitman – the last Portsmouth captain to lift silverware at Wembley – became a huge favourite with the Fratton faithful during his three year spell at the club.
He is also a former AFC Bournemouth, Bristol City, Ipswich Town and Swindon Town player and will be coming to The OnSite Group Stadium in a player-coach role.
The striker started last season with then League 2 side Bristol Rovers before having a spell on loan at National League side Eastleigh in the second half of last season.
Now that his contract has expired following his release by Bristol Rovers this summer, Brett will become an AFC Portchester player for what will be only his second taste of non-league football in his career.
But despite what will be slightly different surroundings in the Wessex League to what he is used to, the striker can’t wait to get started with his new challenge.
Brett said: “I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously for me it is something a little bit different coming out of full time football but I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s a really good set up here. I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully having a successful year.
“It’s going to be different to what I’m used to but it is something I’m looking forward to and at this stage of my career it enables me to do some coaching as well, which is something I’m really looking forward to doing.”
Speaking about AFC Portchester’s aims for the season ahead, Brett added: “I’ve had a good chat with the manager and the club want to win the league so I think that’s the aim – obviously it’s going to be difficult.
“On a personal level hopefully I can bring some experience and score a few goals.”
AFC Portchester manager Dave Carter explained that it had taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes at the club to make the signing possible but now it was completed he was looking forward to working with his new striker.
Carter added: “It’s great to get the signing of Brett over the line. Myself and the committee members worked hard to get Brett on board with us.
“He brings a vast amount of experience to the club and I’m sure there will be plenty of quality and goals from him.
“Brett will also be joining the first team staff and helping out with training sessions and coaching on match days.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him this season and so are the first team squad.”
As well as being a fans favourite at Fratton Park, Pitman has legend status with the AFC Bournemouth faithful after his two spells with the Dorset club brought 104 goals in 301 appearances for the Cherries.
He scored 20 goals in 81 games for Bristol City, and after his second spell at Bournemouth he moved to Ipswich Town, where he netted 15 goals in 70 appearances.
Next up came a move to Portsmouth in the summer of 2017, and he became a firm favourite with the Fratton Park crowd after scoring 25 goals in his first season at the club.
He went on to finish with a total of 42 goals in 99 games for Pompey.
Season 2020-21 saw him remain in League 1 but he moved to Swindon Town and scored 11 goals in 38 games for the Wiltshire club.
Last season the striker made 18 appearances in League 2 for Bristol Rovers and scored four goals before he headed off for a loan spell with National League side Eastleigh in January.
Brett Pitman is being sponsored at AFC Portchester by Bryn Aldworth of Aldworth Roofing Contracts. Visit their website at www.aldworthroofingcontracts.co.uk
You can also call them on 023 9279 9708 or email email@example.com
PITMAN’S SENIOR CAREER:
2005–2010 – AFC Bournemouth – 173 (59)
2010–2013 – Bristol City – 77 (20)
2012 → AFC Bournemouth (loan) – 6 (3)
2013–2015 – AFC Bournemouth – 88 (34)
2015–2017 – Ipswich Town – 61 (14)
2017–2020 – Portsmouth – 37 (11)
2021–2022 – Bristol Rovers – 16 (4)
2022 – Eastleigh (loan) – 17 (1)
Fans reacted as AFC Portchester sign a very experienced EFL player let go by Bristol Rovers…
@TonyPartridge17: Great signing! Welcome back to the area Brett.
@CupChange: Wow. That’s a huge signing for a Wessex League club. Can’t wait to see him play this season. Pompey Legend!
@jaaob_: Kinell what a signing that is
@portchyvets: If he’s free on Sundays, we can offer him some game time with the Vets.
@Daniels41837955: You should never assume someone’s age because of their hair line.
@knight37: I see your doing good business regarding transfers, fantastic for the club
@RhysFinnie_: Porchy doing better business then us
@AshHyson1: There’s some money flying about this season 💰💰💰
@bradhayward17: Class when they still finish mid table. Netflix documentary needed
@olpafc_: Forgot he existed tbh
@Tsykesy: If porchy don’t win league or vas please fold out of respect
@daniel_son79: Portchy have better strikers than @Pompey
@JamieSartain94: Even Porchy out here signing Goats and Pompey can’t. Jokes.
@RhysFinnie_: Porchy doing better business then us
@shahanshahan: Wow! Didn’t realise he got released by Rovers. Would have thought he’d stay in the Football League, but looks like a great signing down in Portchester
@james_corbz: Fucking hell, he is going to score 30+ in that league!
@charliesearle: Cue the meltdowns from pure jealousy, up the portchy 🍊 😂
@Josh0logy: What an absolutely brilliant signing!
— 8/12/21 The creek turned orange (@maxbarron9) July 1, 2022