Coach is surprised Portsmouth didn't consider Boreham Wood ace and Blues fan Nathan Ashmore during recent keeper search

Mick Catlin is surprised Pompey or another Football League club have failed to hand goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore a shot in the professional game.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 14th February 2021, 12:00 pm

The former Gosport Borough manager worked with him during his spell at Privett Park and reckons the stopper is 'more than good enough' to be turning out for the Blues.

Catlin, who is currently out of work but with 26 years of experience in management and coaching at non-league level, has seen his fair share of potential operating outside of the Football League.

But he rates Ashmore – now with Boreham Wood in the National League after a spell at Ebbsfleet – as one of the best he's seen.

Catlin even suggested Pompey should have swooped for the 30-year-old ex-Gosport stopper last month instead of signing Lewis Ward on loan from Exeter.

But Blues boss Kenny Jackett had made it clear the club were looking for cover with Football League experience while Alex Bass remains sidelined – something which Ashmore has failed to gain during a career spent in the non-league.

Catlin said: ‘I can’t understand why Pompey haven’t gone for him when they want a goalkeeper. I think he would not look out of place.

‘I saw a few tweets saying “go get Nathan” (when Pompey were looking for a goalkeeper).

Former Gosport goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (160903-0040)

‘But that’s there recruitment policy. But I would have no qualms about him pulling on a shirt for Pompey.

‘He’s a permanent fixture there (at Boreham Wood) and he’s a senior player playing in the National League and in my opinion should be playing in the Football League.'

Ashmore hails from Pompey and played in the club’s academy with the likes of Crystal Palace's Joel Ward and Newcastle's Matt Ritchie prior to being released as a 14-year-old.

Catlin himself even took the stopper to a Blues trial while he was still at Gosport in 2013.

Ashmore was one of a number of triallists who featured against Aldershot that summer when Guy Whittingham was manager.

Unfortunately, he left without winning a contract and Catlin feels at 30 his professional chance now needs to come sooner rather than later.

He said: ‘I know Nathan’s personality, playing for his hometown club, it would mean everything to him.

‘You wouldn’t get anyone prouder than Nathan, I know that.

‘Unfortunately for Nathan he’s the wrong side of 30 now, although that’s still young for a goalkeeper in my opinion.

‘But I know his personal ambition is to play in the Football League and I hope he does because he’s more than good enough.

‘I actually took him to a trial once during pre-season at Aldershot’s training ground.

‘Alan Knight was the goalkeeping coach and I took him up to a trial game at Aldershot and he played in that and trained throughout the summer there but just didn’t get offered anything at the end of the trial so that was the closest he came.’