Peterborough United defender Dan dreamed of playing in the Premier League with Portsmouth, but he’s happy to be at London Road

Dan Butler scoring for Posh against Fleetwood.Dan Butler scoring for Posh against Fleetwood.
Dan Butler scoring for Posh against Fleetwood. | jpimedia
Peterborough United defender Dan Butler dreamed of playing in the Premier League for Portsmouth when he was a young boy.

The Posh wing-back joined the Pompey Academy at the age of 10 when the club were loving life in the top flight under Harry Redknapp’s management.

But when Butler, who was born on the Isle of Wight, reluctantly left Fratton Park a decade later, after 54 first-team appearances, Pompey were playing down in League Two.

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Butler, who is now 25, is confident his old club will rise again and he’s hopeful Saturday’s (March 7) mouthwatering fixture between Posh and Pompey at the Weston Homes Stadium will be staged in the Championship next season.

Joe Ward in action for Posh at Burton last Saturday.Joe Ward in action for Posh at Burton last Saturday.
Joe Ward in action for Posh at Burton last Saturday. | Joe Dent/JMP

He certainly bears Pompey no ill will.

“I had the best time of my life at Portsmouth,” Butler said. “It was so exciting to join a Premier League club at the age of 10.

“Of course at that age you think you will one day play for the club in the Premier League. You don’t know any different then.

“The reality turned out to be different and by the time I turned professional and played in the first team it was obvious I only managed that because the club had suffered hard times.

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“It was still a great place to play though. Portsmouth fans are incredible no matter what division they are in. They create a fantastic atmosphere and I loved every minute of my experience with them.

“I never really wanted to leave, but in the end I had to and it’s worked out pretty well for me.

“It’s a big game for both teams this Saturday and I have no doubt Portsmouth will soon be back where they belong no matter what happens in this game.

“We’ve done really well against the top League One clubs lately so we will go into the game with confidence.”

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Butler joined troubled Torquay of the National League for a season in after leaving Pompey in 2015 before moving onto Newport for a three-year stay where he honed the wing-back skills that have been so impressive during Posh’s push for promotion from League One.

Butler was the standout player in Newport’s League Two play-off final defeat by Tranmere at Wembley last season. That was his last game for the club before joining Posh on a free transfer

“I played wing-back all season for Newport last season,” Butler added. “It’s a role I know very well and I enjoy it.

“The principles of the position are the same this season, but the standard is obviously higher. I’ve done okay though.

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“The system we are playing suits us because Joe Ward is so comfortable as the wing-back on the other side. You’d never know the position is relatively new for him.”

Butler scored his first goal for Posh and the 12th of his career in the recent 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood.

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