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Cherries: Goalkeeper Flahavan keen to win back his place
FORGOTTEN man Darryl Flahavan has thrown down the gauntlet to Cherries’ team of goalkeepers by insisting: “I want my place back.”
Flahavan, Cherries’ first choice under former bosses Lee Bradbury and Paul Groves, recently hit the comeback trail following a near seven-month injury layoff.
The 34-year-old, who required surgery after damaging his shoulder in pre-season, was the hero of Cherries’ penalty shootout victory over AFC Totton in the Hampshire Senior Cup 11 days ago.
Flahavan saved two spot-kicks to help Cherries progress to the final and came through unscathed despite suffering a crashing fall on his shoulder during extra-time.
Since sustaining his injury, Flahavan has seen Cherries’ goalkeeping resources bolstered by the arrivals of Ryan Allsop and David James, although the former England star this week left the club.
Flahavan, who is out of contract at the end of this season, told the Daily Echo: “All I can do is keep working hard, getting sharper, get more games under my belt and take it from there.
“I was unfortunate with the injury, which kept me out for nearly seven months, but I thought I might miss the whole season so great credit to Steve Hard and Dave Gardner for getting me fit.
"It is a massive bonus to be back a couple of months ahead of schedule so I am going to try to make the most of it. Hopefully, I can impress the manager and coaching staff and be worthy of a new deal.
“While I was out, we brought in new players. That is the way it is in football and different personnel get brought in at different times. We have a great team of keepers and it is good training with them.
“With a few more games and a couple of weeks of training, I would like to think I would be ready if selected. I want to earn my place in the team and at the club. I enjoy competing, especially with younger goalkeepers. It is a great club with great people and I want to be here for as long as I possibly can. I will work hard to try to make that happen.”
Flahavan added: “I have worked with some great goalkeepers throughout my career. When I first started at Southampton, people like Bruce Grobbelaar, Dave Beasant, Chris Woods and Paul Jones were ahead of me.
“I then had nine years at Southend where I was number one. I went to Crystal Palace and couldn’t dislodge Julian Speroni, who was probably the best goalkeeper I have worked with.
“The standard here is fantastic and it is a great environment to work in. Once I have had a couple more games, I would hope to stake my claim.”