Henderson’s warning for Ashdown

New Pompey keeper Stephen Henderson     Picture: Dave Haines
New Pompey keeper Stephen Henderson Picture: Dave Haines
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Stephen Henderson has warned Jamie Ashdown: I’m not here to play second fiddle.

The Irish keeper last week arrived at Pompey as a free agent, having spent the past four years with Bristol City.

During that time, Henderson failed to make the first-team breakthrough at Ashton Gate, with former Pompey keeper David James keeping him out of the side last term.

However, he did star on loan at Yeovil last season, scooping their player of the year accolade.

Now the 23-year-old is at Fratton Park and eyeing Ashdown’s first-team spot.

Ashdown played in all 50 of the Blues’ matches in the 2010-11 season, enjoying an impressive campaign which also earned him several end-of-season honours.

This time round, though, he has Henderson to rival him for the No1 jersey.

And the former Aston Villa stopper intends to do everything he can to dislodge him.

Henderson said: ‘Getting the number-one spot is my main aim and that’s why I’m here.

‘Obviously Jamie’s a great goalkeeper and a great lad and it will be an honest battle for that spot.

‘I was at Bristol City for four years and didn’t really get a good run in the team, so I just found myself out on loan every year.

‘I owe a lot to City but it was time for a fresh move and, hopefully, get to play a few games.

‘I’m 23 now and need to be pushing.

‘I have been told that Jamie played every game last season, that’s a great achievement. But I’ve had four years of just sitting on the bench and now it’s time for me to definitely claim my spot.

‘I have never fallen out with a goalkeeper, though. If Jamie’s playing, I wish him all the best, hope he does well and hope he does the same for me.’

Henderson made his Pompey bow in the second half of Monday’s opening friendly against the Hawks.

He managed to keep a clean sheet against on his debut as Steve Cotterill’s men ran out 4-0 winners.

Fellow new-boys David Norris, Luke Varney, Jason Pierce and Greg Halford also appeared in the West Leigh Park encounter.

The next friendly is against Chelsea on Saturday, before Pompey depart the following day for a 12-day tour of America.

And Henderson believes he has swiftly settled in.

He added: ‘It has been brilliant.

‘They’re a great bunch of lads. There’s not many of us but they’re a great bunch of lads.

‘The manager is also great and obviously the goalkeeping coach (John Keeley) has been brilliant with me as well.

‘I didn’t have much to do against Havant but was pretty happy with how it went.

‘I was a bit anxious but I’m just glad it’s over now so I can kick on and hopefully play some part on Saturday.’