Writes: Evan Halliday
Callum Fowler and Patrice Link have been a formidable duo in the Portsmouth dugout over recent years, guiding their players to countless honours – including a treble in 2022 and over the most recent campaign, Pompey collected a cup double.
After another successful year with the coaching double act at the helm, the south coast club now turn their attention to the European stage as they prepare to take on the continent’s best, in the Champions League.
Joint head coach Callum Fowler shared his thoughts on the achievement: “It’s quite surreal to say we will be competing in the Champions League, but we always knew this would be a possibility when we inherited this group of players.
“It’s a fantastic honour for Pat and I to be able to coach and manage this group of players, we know they will give everything but most importantly we want them to enjoy the experience and everything that comes with it.”
Shortly after the COVID-19 Pandemic, Link and Fowler were asked if they would be interested in filling the vacant head coach role on an interim basis with Pompey, however three years and numerous trophies later, the young, up-and-coming coaches have made the job their own, establishing their identity and philosophies within.
“I’ve always had an interest in the sport and when the opportunity came about to become joint head coach, I had to take it,” said Link.
“My time at Portsmouth is something I feel great joy looking at, being able to learn a new sport and to coach some truly inspirational lads has been something I have felt great pride for,” added the 25-year-old.
Over their reign at Pompey, the coaches have overseen their players on some of the biggest stages the sport has to offer including appearances in the FA Disability Cup final on TNT Sports (formerly known as BT Sport).
Reflecting on the opportunities he’s had in amputee football, Fowler said: “It’s a great honour to be involved in the FA Disability Cup on live national TV and to play a small part in the growth of this great sport.
“We’re so grateful to have had the chance to coach some of the best players on the planet and being involved in the elite level of sport is amazing,” he added.
The Pompey pair have truly reached the pinnacle of the sport, consistently setting and maintaining a high standard and proving to be the team to beat in England - now they face a new challenge outside of the country but the lads are full of confidence.
“Naturally we will go into the tournament wanting to win, we won’t get ahead of ourselves of course, we are in a difficult group and have our game plan to try and get out of that group and who knows how far we can go,” said Fowler.
Fowler’s counterpart, Link also added: “We look to go into the tournament with our winning mentality from our domestic season, we know we will be facing high-level opposition and we will approach it game by game, we can’t wait to get out there and compete, and to do the country proud.”