Ashdown: It’s hard to say goodbye

Jamie Ashdown. Picture: Barry Zee
Jamie Ashdown. Picture: Barry Zee
Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

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Jamie Ashdown signed off from Pompey and insisted: There’s no hard feelings.

The Blues’ longest serving player admitted it has been difficult to walk away from Fratton Park after serving the club for the past eight years.

But that is what the 31-year-old has had to do after being released by Michael Appleton, along with Ricardo Rocha.

Ashdown promised he had no problem with Appleton’s position as he takes on the arduous task of rebuilding the team for League One on a shoestring budget.

The keeper will now focus on pushing forward as he enters a crucial phase in his career.

But he admitted it won’t be easy to move on from a club he has built a close connection with.

Ashdown said: ‘In terms of myself, the manager has made his position clear.

‘He has to bring in youngsters who are on a lot less money.

‘There are no hard feelings at all on my part.

‘He needs two keepers fighting for one spot. I couldn’t do that on my own.

‘I can see why he would want to do it with younger players.

‘I was kind of ready to go when Millwall came in and I wasn’t playing last season.

‘I got my head around that but Stephen went to West Ham instead in the end and I ended up playing again.

‘That was where I wanted to be and still want to be but things move on.

‘In football, players and managers move on. It’s part of the career. I’m still hungry, though.

‘I had eight years at Pompey and to have another couple would have been fantastic.

‘But it’s a make or break stage of my career. I just have to move on and get on with things.’

Ashdown pinpointed a close relationship with supporters as a highlight of his time at Pompey.

That was seen as he took a hands-on approach in supporting the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, along with his wife Zoe.

Ashdown said: ‘It’s been a good time and I want to thank everyone.

‘The fans have been fantastic to me. I got involved with the Trust and a lot of people came on board because we were trying to encourage it.

‘For us, it was a matter of trying to raise awareness of the club’s situation.

‘The club’s position wasn’t something we were prepared to sit around and do nothing about.

‘We believed in it and we had to show our support.

‘Things have come to an end for me now.

‘I’ll never forget the times me and my family have had at the club, though.

‘We’ll remember the good times.’