Keeper vows to see off rivals for No1 spot

Jamie Ashdown
Jamie Ashdown
Pompey captain Brett Pitman

Revealed: Pompey's record with and without Pitman

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Jamie Ashdown wants to see out his career at Pompey.

And the Blues’ longest-serving player insisted he is determined to repay the faith Steve Cotterill has shown in him by seeing off his next rival for the No1 shirt.

The goalkeeper explained he doesn’t see himself playing anywhere else as he prepares to start his eighth campaign at Fratton Park.

Ashdown celebrated an ever-present term last time around as he racked up 50 appearances on the bounce.

That was a triumphant comeback for the 30-year-old, just months after being shown the door by the club.

Now Ashdown, who has a year left on his current agreement, wants to stay put for the long haul.

He said: ‘I’m the longest-serving player now.

‘It’s nice. I don’t ever think about leaving now.

‘I want to play here as long as I can and be involved for as long as I can.

‘That’s what I want to be doing. Seven years is a good stint.

‘I’ve always seen myself as a loyal player and now I class myself as a fan of the club as well. I’m not just a player.

‘This is where I want to be long term. Hopefully, things can keep going.’

Ashdown will face a new challenge for his place in the team next season after Darryl Flahavan was released at the end of the last campaign.

The new contender will be the latest in a long line of keepers he has vied with in his time at the club.

It’s a battle he is determined to win after establishing himself as first choice.

Ashdown said: ‘I want to repay the faith shown in me by the manager again next season. I was pleased to play as many games as I did last season and I want to do that again.

‘It was difficult to play that many games after hardly playing that many in the six years previous.

‘There were times when it was a test to push through injuries but I wanted to play every game.

‘I had an appendix problem and came back early but I’m glad I played through it and was pushed by the manager. It worked out well.

‘Me and Flav got on well. He’s had a great career at this level.

‘It’s a shame the manager didn’t see Darryl as competition for me.

‘He pushed me every day and trained really hard.

‘What the manager thinks goes, though, and that was his choice.

‘Last season was a good season for me but I’m not here to play well for one season, it’s a long term thing.’

Meanwhile, Bournemouth defender Jason Pearce has once again been linked with a return to Fratton Park, where he was awarded his first professional deal in 2006.

The Blues are due a 50-per-cent sell-on fee should the Cherries skipper leave the Fitness First Stadium.

The payment scuppered a bid from Peterborough United earlier this summer and could put Pompey in a strong bargaining position.