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James relishes competition

4 July 2014

New goalkeeper can't wait to get started

James Shea says he can’t wait for his opportunity to compete for the number one jersey at AFC Wimbledon after hearing all about the club from former Dons boss Dave Anderson.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper’s performances last season attracted plenty of interest in his services, but working with Harrow Borough manager Dave Anderson certainly helped point him in Wimbledon’s direction.

Speaking to Rob Cornell during an interview for Dons Player, James (pictured above right with goalkeeper Joe Hart during an England training session) said: “Dave sat me down and told me all about the history of the club and what it means to him. That was very useful. I’m just glad that it’s all done now and I’ve signed. I just want to get started at Wimbledon now. The manager basically said that the shirt is up for grabs and I just have to show what I can do. I was looking at the club’s Twitter account to see who the club were signing this summer and there are some big names here. I just cannot wait for the season to start really.

“I came in for training a few times here last season and Ashley Bayes (Goalkeeper Coach) is quality. He is very much like my old goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts at Arsenal. Training wise they are similar people and ‘Bayzo’ is a brilliant coach.”

James, who was unveiled as one of two new goalkeeping recruits for Wimbledon yesterday along with Joe McDonnell, believes competition for places will spur everyone on. The former Arsenal goalkeeper, who was on the bench for Champions League matches a few seasons ago, gained another invaluable experience in 2010 when he trained with the England squad.

“The England team were training at London Colney, where Arsenal also train, and I got asked if I wanted to be involved,” added James. “I jumped at the chance and it was great to be in training with England. It’s an old cliché, but we’re all part of the goalkeeper’s union. We all want to be the number one, but I get on well with Ross Worner. We will all help each other to be the best that we can.”

The full interview with James Shea featured on Dons Player yesterday, along with interviews with Joe McDonnell and Neal Ardley.

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