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First team

Ramsdale - Winning with England was brilliant


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Aaron Ramsdale ended a successful domestic season by travelling to the south of France with England under-21s, coming home having made his debut for the side and winning the Toulon Tournament.

The 20-year-old Ramsdale was understudy to Freddie Woodman for much of the tournament but started and kept a clean sheet in the crucial 4-0 win over Qatar which confirmed England's progress from the group stage.

The 'keeper - who spent that second half of last season on loan in League Two with Chesterfield - spoke to afcb.co.uk about his time in Provence winning the Toulon Tournament.

"It was brilliant, the whole trip and experience was just fantastic," he said. "The lads were top class on the pitch and off it, with the younger lads and some of the new lads coming in and with everyone being down to earth and humble it made the trip much easier for everyone.

"Ahead of my debut I had a few nerves, just like before every game. I've always been told with debuts and big games that it's just a piece of grass and it's just about stopping the ball going into your goal.

"That was the mindset going into it, I was focusing on myself and telling myself that I deserved to be there. We had to win the game so I felt confident having been picked for the game."

The tournament also gave Ramsdale the chance to play alongside Cherries team-mate Lewis Cook, who captained the Three Lions and lifted the prestigious trophy after the final on Saturday.  

"It was fun," said the 'keeper of his appearance with his Cherries compatriot. "It was good to actually watch him from on the pitch, it was something that I had been looking forward to and hope to again soon." 

Following a 3-1 win over Scotland in the semi-finals, England came from behind to beat Mexico in the final, cementing a 2-1 victory to lift the trophy for the third straight year.

Ramsdale explained: "With that group of players winning was all we ever had on our minds, that meant that at the times when were were drawing or even losing no-one was ever nervous or anxious. We knew there were goals in the team and we'd have enough to get through.

"Winning the tournament for the third year running just shows the progress being made by youth teams in this country.

The win to start the summer came after a spell with Chesterfield in the fourth tier, where, despite the Spireites being relegated in May, Ramsdale impressed in the face of a steep learning curve in senior football. 

"I absolutely loved it there," he said. "The team were poor at times and that meant I was needing to save 20 shots a game, always busy and having the chance to prove myself.

"That loan move's already helping me and I've now played for England under-21s. The experience of playing in front of fans was big and I won't now be nervous of what may be coming my way from the stands. It's made me grow up a bit football-wise."










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