JORDAN Holmes is happy to see “closest mate” Aaron Ramsdale impressing at the top level – and revealed he keeps in contact with a number of his former team-mates at Cherries.

Australia under-23 international Holmes joined the Dorset club at the age of 16 before leaving last summer to gain first-team football with National League Ebbsfleet.

He spent two-and-a-half years with now Cherries’ first-choice stopper Ramsdale, as well training alongside the likes of Artur Boruc, Asmir Begovic, Ryan Allsop, Mark Travers and fellow countryman Adam Federici.

Holmes has played 25 times for Ebbsleet in all competitions this season. He has kept clean sheets in his past two games against Halifax and Hartlepool.

Asked who he had become good friends with in the game, Holmes told Non League Daily: “One of my closest mates in football is Aaron Ramsdale at Bournemouth.

“He joined when I was there and we had two-and-a-half years there together. He’s one of my closest mates over here and I spend a good amount of time with him.

“I always look out and see how he’s doing ¬- and glad he’s doing so well this season.

“Ryan Allsop, again, I was with him at Bournemouth. I always call him up and see how he’s getting on and he’s doing really well at Wycombe.

“Feds (Federici), always drop him the odd text, and then Asmir (Begović), I’d say he’s a good friend in the game for me. Him sponsoring me by wearing his gloves and I’m always chatting to him about how he’s getting on and how he’s got to where he’s got and how he’s dealt with certain things. He’s been a good person to bounce things off.

“There’s numerous amounts of people. Mark Travers, who’s doing quite well at Bournemouth as well. A lot of lads I’ve got on well with since I was younger and kept in contact with.”

Asked what options he had when leaving Vitality Stadium last year, Holmes replied: “The Bournemouth one was tough because you could stay there and become a training goalkeeper, but I never wanted to do that.

“I thought it was time in my career where I needed to go out and play games.

“I had options to go to the Netherlands and Norway, options in League Two, but that was not guaranteed to play.

“It was getting to the point of ‘even if I have to drop a bit lower, it doesn’t bother me, as long as I get the games’.

“That’s where Garry Hill (former Ebbsfleet manager) gave a phone call to the assistant manager of the 23s at the time at Bournemouth, because I was still training there at the start of the season to keep my fitness up.

“It led to me just training once at Ebbsfleet and the rest was history. There was a few in my head to go to the A-League but I really wanted to just get more games here and see just how tough the English league was.”