Ex-Town striker Pitman drops down five levels to sign for new club

Former Ipswich Town striker Brett Pitman has signed for AFC Portchester of the Wessex League

Former Ipswich Town striker Brett Pitman has signed for AFC Portchester of the Wessex League - Credit: AFC Portchester

Former Ipswich Town striker Brett Pitman has dropped down to the ninth tier of English football to sign for a side in the Wessex League Premier Division.

Pitman, 34, who played 18 games for promoted League Two outfit Bristol Rovers last season, has signed a season-long deal as player/coach at AFC Portchester.

Portchy play at step 5 of the football pyramid, a step below the Isthmian League Division One, and a couple above the Suffolk and Ipswich League (SIL).

Pitman spent the second half of last season on loan at non-league Eastleigh, playing 17 games and scoring once.

He played for Town for two seasons between June 2015 and July 2017, having signed from Bournemouth. He played 70 games for the Blues, netting 15 goals, before departing for Portsmouth.

Pitman told the Portchester website: "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.”

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He 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.”

Portchester boss Dave Carter said: "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.

Former Ipswich Town striker Brett Pitman has been released by Portsmouth. Picture: INPHOTOGRAPHY

Brett Pitman played 70 games for Town between 2015 and 2017 - Credit: Archant

“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.”

Portchy finished seventh in the Wessex League Premier Division last campaign.