CHERRIES goalkeeper Ryan Allsop hopes the magic of the FA Cup can provide the platform for a strong start to the new year – just like it did 12 months ago.
The 21-year-old custodian has suffered a testing three-month spell at Dean Court since his remarkable rise through the ranks during Cherries’ promotion push last season.
Since his sending off at Leeds at the start of October, Allsop has started just one Championship match after the loan signing of Lee Camp coincided with a bout of illness which prevented the former Leyton Orient stopper from training.
But with Camp’s two-month deal at Cherries ending at the same time as his short-term contract with parent club West Bromwich Albion, the future of Allsop’s colleague remains undecided, leaving the door ajar for a morale-boosting return.
And after stirring the interest of Cherries goalkeeping coach Neil Moss with a stellar performance in the O’s FA Cup victory over non-league Alfreton Town last season, Allsop hopes Cherries’ home clash with Burton Albion tomorrow (3pm) can reinvigorate his first season in the Championship.
The Cherries stopper told the club website: “I’m not sure whether I will be playing at the moment but, hopefully, it’s a chance for me to get 90 minutes. It would be good for me to get some playing time and try and stake a claim for a place in the team.
“Flavs (Darryl Flahavan) has been unlucky with his injury and Lee Camp was brilliant during his loan here but things are still to come to a conclusion with him so it could be my chance to come in and play.
“You never know what is going to happen in football as we saw when Stephen Henderson got injured at Nottingham Forest.
“You have to prepare yourself properly, do the right things, train well and prepare as if you are going to play at all times.
“I have been around the squad for a few weeks now, which has been good for me because it’s important to feel part of it.
“I have had a couple of weeks of training under my belt, I feel fully fit now and I’m ready to go.”
Recalling his afternoon at the Impact Arena, Allsop added: “Neil Moss came to watch me in the game at Alfreton and although it wasn’t the greatest game, we got the win and Hull in the next round.
“The FA Cup gives you the chance to go to the biggest stadiums and play some of the bigger clubs. It would be great for the club if we could go on a good cup run, so hopefully we can get the win.”