NEW recruit Ryan Allsop insists he is looking to challenge Shwan Jalal for the Cherries number one jersey.
Allsop could tonight take his first steps towards that goal when Cherries take on Eastleigh in the quarter-finals of the Hampshire Senior Cup.
The 20-year-old may be handed a starting berth at New Milton’s Fawcett’s Field, with boss Eddie Howe this morning set to finalise a decision on which pros will feature against the Conference South outfit.
Howe is likely to choose either Allsop or Benji Buchel, while midfielders Joe Partington and Donal McDermott could also play a part against the Spitfires.
Allsop, who is nicknamed Rocky, penned a three-and-a-half year deal at Dean Court earlier this month having left Leyton Orient following the expiry of a short-term contract.
The former West Brom man quickly established himself as first-choice at Brisbane Road having been called into action for Orient's League Cup first round tie against Charlton in August last year.
Allsop saved a penalty as Orient progressed 4-3 on spot kicks and made his league debut on September 1 against Crawley before going on to make a further 22 appearances. He was relegated to the bench having turned down several contract offers at the east London club.
Allsop told the Echo: “It was nice to get some games and get a chance at Orient. But the last few games I was out of the frame and that was very frustrating. I want to play as much as possible and I am looking to challenge the other keepers at Bournemouth.
“Bournemouth have high standards and they are flying in the league so I’d love to be a part of that.”
Allsop progressed through the ranks at the Hawthorns before joining Millwall in 2011, but he did not feature in the first team at the Den and switched to Icelandic club Hottur prior to joining Orient.
He added: “I’m looking to get settled at Bournemouth having played for a few clubs now and I’m delighted to have moved down here. I’m looking forward to getting going.
“I’ve been really impressed with the set-up. It’s great and I am looking forward to being here.”
Cherries, who will field mostly development squad players against Eastleigh, ousted Winchester City and Fleet Town to reach the last eight, while the Spitfires knocked out Christchurch and Fleet Spurs.
The other three quarter-finals are also being played tonight with AFC Totton hosting Gosport Borough, Sholing visiting Lee Bradbury’s Havant & Waterlooville and Hamble entertaining Alresford. The final of the Hampshire Senior Cup is expected to be Southampton's St Mary's Stadium.
Eastleigh: (from) Dovey, Coffey, Doyle, Basilone, Forbes, Everitt, Green, Wilson, King, Whittaker, Binns, Hughes, Plummer, McAllister, Peacock.