Ashdown: Pompey return would mean world to me

Jamie Ashdown admits he has set his heart on securing an emotional Pompey return.

Saturday, 9th July 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:10 pm
Former Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown

The keeper has been lined up to train with the Blues next week – almost a year after quitting the game.

The 35-year-old is desperate to return to football and has set his sights on a second Fratton Park spell.

Pompey is the only club Ashdown would be prepared to join in England, as he also eyes the possibilities of playing abroad.

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A shareholder in the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, the club holds a tremendous affection for the former Reading stopper.

And he is keen to add to the last of his 124 Blues appearances registered in April 2012 under Michael Appleton.

He told The News: ‘I wouldn’t go anywhere else in England to play my football, it can only be Pompey.

‘Everybody knows the club is dear to my heart. I loved my eight seasons at Fratton Park, being part of such a fantastic club meant so much and I am proud of my involvement in the Trust.

‘I’ve been invited back to train and no doubt they will assess me and my fitness.

‘Nothing is certain, so we’ll see what develops. You never know.

‘I retired in August last year through personal reasons and a little bit of frustration as well.

‘I had finished the campaign with Oxford but wasn’t offered anything so took time away from the game, there was never a problem with fitness or injuries.

‘It took six months down the line to realise I missed football massively, nothing can replace it, and I have discovered what I want from life.

‘It had been my decision to retire, it had nothing to do with my body, and now I want to come back – with Pompey.

‘I live near Basingstoke but would also be prepared to move back to the area, I think that is important.

‘Hopefully something can come of next week, it would mean so much to come back.’

The potential of an Ashdown return to Pompey has been well-received by supporters.

The Blues are in the market for an experienced goalkeeper, with Paul Jones recovering from injury.

They also have highly-promising 18-year-old Alex Bass on their books, while are currently running the rule over Eric Grimes and Michael Crowe in Ireland.

Ashdown has continued to look after himself during his time away from the game.

And he hopes to convince Paul Cook of his talents.

He added: ‘During my time out I have not put on a massive amount of weight.

‘I have continued to remain fit and been working with Oxford United’s head of goalkeeping Wayne Brown once a week.

‘It is about maintaining your hand-eye coordination, as well as looking after your fitness.

‘I feel good and want to show Pompey what I am capable of.’