Ashdown ready for competition from Henderson

Jamie Ashdown knows he has competition for the Pompey number one shirt
Jamie Ashdown knows he has competition for the Pompey number one shirt
Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

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Jamie Ashdown shrugged off the presence of Stephen Henderson and insisted: I’m used to competition.

The 30-year-old, left, was an ever-present for Pompey last term, winning a string of supporter awards in the process.

This time around he has Henderson to contend with following his arrival from Bristol City.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international has landed at Fratton Park with an excellent reputation.

He was crowned Yeovil’s player of the year during a season-long loan last year.

Now the 23-year-old is at Pompey gunning for a first-team spot.

It puts added pressure on Ashdown, not that he’s feeling it.

After all, he has become familiar with dealing with plenty of competition during his eight seasons with the Blues.

He said: ‘Stephen has arrived but I have always had competition, it is nothing new.

‘Last season there was Darryl (Flahavan) here.

‘He had played 300-odd games in the Championship, so for me that was a lot to look up to.

‘Whether it is Darryl, Shaka, Jamo or Stephen (Henderson), I have always put everything into everything I do.

‘It doesn’t matter who is here, I work my rear end off to support myself and my family and I want to do well for the team.

‘That is exactly what I am playing football it for.

‘Of course it will be good as a team to have competition but it’s not really about who is pushing me or whoever.

‘It is a matter of me putting the gloves on, doing as well as I can and doing what I think I have always done in training.’

Ashdown has been working hard alongside Henderson under the watchful eye of goalkeeping coach John Keeley during the American tour.

It has been a crucial chance to get to know each other during the 12-day trip.

Ashdown added: ‘Stephen is a nice lad but I don’t like to comment on other people.

‘It’s a bit unfair for me to comment. We have got on well but we all have our own agenda.

‘Personally, I don’t like to talk about other people or pinpoint anyone. I work hard and that is all I need to worry about.’