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First team

Ramsdale hopes to star for Lions

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is hoping his Premier League experience will help him star on the international stage.

Ramsdale is expected to feature when England start their European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign later this week.

Aidy Boothroyd’s team face Turkey in Izmit on Friday before hosting Kosovo at Hull City’s KC Stadium on Monday.

And Ramsdale, who has started all four of the Cherries’ Premier League games this season, will be looking to add to his one cap for the under-21s.

The 21-year-old lined up in their final group game at the 2018 Toulon Tournament and kept a clean sheet as the Young Lions ran out convincing 4-0 winners against Qatar.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Ramsdale said: “I’m delighted to be here again but this time as a full member and, hopefully, one who is going to play the games and get some good results. I’m looking forward to the next two years and, hopefully, getting to the Euros.

“I’ve been in and around it and the manager here knows all about me so as long as I perform on the training pitch then, hopefully, I can be number one and play in the games.”

Put to him that the under-21s was a pathway to the senior squad, Ramsdale replied: “We had our welcome meeting and the boss said he didn’t think there was a better time to be an under-21 player.

“Gareth Southgate picks players on merit, not by name, and if you’re 21, 20, 19 or 32 then you’re going to get picked.

“Mason Mount, James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Jordan Pickford have all been through the under-21s, some more recently than others, so there’s definitely a pathway and playing football week in, week out will enable you to do that.”

Asked about starting the season as the Cherries’ number one, Ramsdale said: “It’s been brilliant. It was a little bit of a shock to the system, the pressure and the mental side of the game but I feel like I’m coping well.

“We’ve had some tough results but we’ve also had some good ones as well so there’s plenty to work on. To get the nod was fantastic and a great boost for my confidence because the manager is putting so much belief in me.”

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