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Cherries: Gloves off for Allsop in battle for number-one spot
RYAN ‘Rocky’ Allsop admits he is steeling himself for the biggest fight of his fledgling career – the battle to become undisputed number one at Dean Court.
The 20-year-old burst on to the scene at Leyton Orient at the start of this season, profiting from injury to Jamie Jones and Lee Butcher to immediately claim the green jersey.
Allsop starred in a penalty shootout win over Charlton in the first round of the League Cup before going on to make 20 league appearances until he was left out after declining the offer of a new contract.
The Birmingham-born stopper, who is expected to be on the bench when Cherries face the Os at Brisbane Road today, told the Daily Echo: “I went to Orient hoping to get my chance and was lucky enough to take it when it came along.
“I felt I did fairly well and kept the number-one spot, which was brilliant for me. Orient had a decent run during the first half of the season, I turned in a few good performances and got some good experience under my belt. Overall, I was happy with the way it went.
“I was fortunate enough to get the move here and am really happy. I am working with some very experienced goalkeepers (Jalal, David James and Darryl Flahavan) and a great coach (Neil Moss). I am learning all the time.
“As a keeper, it is weird because you are a close-knit group but, ultimately, you are fighting for one spot with the people you work closely with every day of the week. We push and help each other and it is a good challenge. You have to look out for yourself but you are all in it together as well. I want to play and want to be number one. I know it is not going to be easy but I am up for the challenge.”
Allsop, who was capped five times by England under-17s as he progressed through the ranks at West Brom, signed a six-month contract with Orient following spells with Millwall, where he did not feature in the first team, and Icelandic club Hottur, where he made 10 appearances.
He added: “I am keen to settle down and a two-and-a-half year contract has given me some stability here. I have experienced different things at different clubs and have matured a lot as a result. My aim now is to become first-team keeper here in the future.”