Full Name: Jamie Ashdown
Date of Birth: 30th November 1980
Current Club: Oxford United
Place of Birth: Reading
Height: 6ft 4inches
How old were you when you first started playing football and did you always want to be a goalkeeper?
I was about 11 when I first starting playing as a striker for local side Sandhurst. I didn’t always want to be a goalkeeper no, we needed a goalkeeper for a training game and I went in goal and the manager thought best if I would be the sides GK.
Where and when did you get your big break?
I got my first real chance when I went to Rushden & Diamonds where I picked up invaluable experience playing every week, then I got called back to Reading FC because of an injury to the 1st team gk and played the last 10 games that season. These games lead to getting a move to Portsmouth which was in the Premiership.
Did you face any obstacles along the way, ever think you weren’t going to make it to where you are now and if so how did you get past the obstacles?
When I was in the youth team at Reading I completely shattered my index finger which lead to having a complicated surgery back then, and at the time wasn’t sure if I would be given a pro contract. But I was very determined to play through any pain to get the chance to be a pro. Also when I was at Portsmouth I had quite a few back problems which I had quite a long lay off with but I had great support from all the staff at Portsmouth that got me through it.
Who was your biggest influence growing up?
My dad would always drive me to every game which lead to opportunities for me. In terms of goalkeepers Peter Shilton, Nigel Martyn, Neville Southall and David Seaman were all goalkeepers I grew up wanting to be like.
How do you prepare for a big game?
I’ve always needed a good weeks training to prepare right for a game. A good night’s sleep the night before a game is very important and good nutrition.
Any tips on warm-ups?
Warm ups should be tailored to the individual and work on things you may expect from the opposition on the day. Staying relaxed in a warm to avoid any tension which can lead to possible injuries.
Are you superstitious or do you have any pre-game rituals?
Being on time is my only ritual I have but I don’t have superstitions.
What techniques do you employ to keep focused for the full 90 minutes?
Talking to the defence helps with focus I find.
What goalkeeper gloves do you wear and how important is the right goalkeeper glove to you?
I wear TheOneGlove Company Pulse gloves which I co designed with TheOneGlove. I wanted to give back to the sport and also help others. We are currently helping jacks 1st steps, who is a little boy that needs surgery to help him walk for the first time.
What are the main features you look for in a goalkeeper glove?
Good grip, comfort, easy to clean, what the brand stand for, like the One Glove which wanted to help others which are less fortunate than us.
Since you’ve started playing what is the most important bit of advice you’ve been given and by whom?
My dad always told me to keep grounded and that I hope has stuck with me.
What’s been your biggest career highlight(s) so far?
Playing in the Premier League
Who is/has been your toughest opponent and do you prepare differently to face them? (Team and player)?
Chelsea were very difficult to play against, so many different styles they can play with fast thinking players. You can prepare mentally which is very important. But the good players always do something different to what they had done in previous games so if you studied to hard, and they do what you weren’t predicting you would look stupid, so best way you can prepare is to prepare to expect the unexpected.
Any advice you could give to young goalkeepers trying to break through?
Never think you have made it and work hard like you always have a point to prove to yourself and other goalkeepers/players.
What football club do you support?
Reading, it’s where I grew up.
Away from the football pitch and training ground what do you enjoy doing?
I own a nutrition company that sells informed sport only products to athletes and armed forces.
I also like to spend time with my 3 children and taking them to various hobbies that they have.
You’ve recently teamed up with TheOneGlove who are donating a proportion of all Pulse Glove sales to ‘Jack’s First Steps’ how did you get involved in the charity and what can you tell us about it?
The One Glove Company got in contact with me to see if I wanted to endorse their gloves. After a few discussions we came up with donating a percentage of glove sales of the pulse to my chosen charity – Jacks 1st Steps. In the future we are hoping to build our own charity and see if we can make a difference.
Where do you see Oxford United finishing this year and did you have any pre-season aims as a club and individual for where you want to finish?
I’ve only been at oxford a short while and at present the main aim would be stay up and then build for next season with the group of players that have only been together a couple of months. I’m convinced next season will be a vast improvement on this season.
Do you see yourself staying with Oxford after your contract ends?
I would love to stay at oxford it’s a fantastic club which I can see doing well next season.