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Ross, tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Ross Fitzsimons and I am currently playing for Weymouth FC.
Ross you began your career at Crystal Palace FC. How did you get into the youth of Crystal Palace FC ? And who helped you the most?
I got in to the youth at palace by leaving Arsenal at 14 and just progressed through the ranks, I wouldn’t say that anyone in particular helped me the most but everyone that was at the club helped me equally in terms of coaching and guiding me in to becoming a better GK.
On 17 January 2013, you joined Isthmian League Premier side Harrow Borough FC. It was a one-month loan to replace the departed Elvijs Putnins. What was it like to play football for Harrow Borough FC for one month?
Going out on loan to Harrow was massive for me in my development, playing men’s football both physically and mentally getting a taste first hand on what it meant to be under pressure in games where 3 points were at stake.
After your loan spell at Harrow Borough, you was loaned out to Hendon FC, Havant & Waterlooville FC and Farnborough FC. Would you say it is essential for youth players to go out and get proper men’s football experience?
Yes I would say it’s vital in young players especially GK’s to go out and get experience in men’s football mainly because of the physical side of the game, how demanding it can be on your body taking nocks, making saves around the goal, distribution, how can they handle certain situations under pressure and how reliable and consistent are they going to be. Also building character for the future, going on loan is about preparing yourself for the future of playing at the highest level so confidence is massively important too.
During your time at Crystal Palace you were competing for the goalkeeper position. How did you feel about the likelihood of yourself being given a chance?
I came close a couple of times at crystal palace but the likelihood of it actually happening would have been very slim unless it would have been an appearance off the bench. That’s only because of the situation the club was in at the time going for promotion to the premier league, it would have just made more sense to bring someone else in with more experience in league football if it was ever needed.
After your time by Crystal Palace FC, you moved to Bolton Wanderers FC. Did you noticed a lot of difference between these clubs?
No I didn’t see much difference in terms of the clubs they are both two great clubs, facilities were very similar and managed very similar, just for the obvious reasons of what Bolton were going through at the time with their problems financially would have separated them apart a little bit but two great clubs.
In 2017, you signed a contract with Notts County FC. And you made your debut on 8 August, in a 3–3 draw with Scunthorpe United FC at Glanford Park in the first round of the EFL Cup. How important was that match for you ?
Signing for Notts County and playing in that game was massive for me. I remember that night like it was yesterday, the conditions were horrendous the pitch was under two inches of water. That game really gave me the opportunity to show what I could do after years of patience and hard work and also stamped my personality on my new team at the time to then go on and make another 20 appearances that season in the league and cup.
After three seasons playing for Notts County FC, you signed for Boston United FC. Why did you leave Notts County FC ?
I left Notts county simply because I wasn’t offered another contract. When the new manager came in to the club he made it very clear to me early on that I wouldn’t be a player of any importance to him so it was just important for me to stay physically and mentally ready for when I got my chance again and I feel like I did that.
Ross, You have played at several football clubs in several leagues. At which club did you learned the most?
For me I learned mostly when I signed for Notts County under Kevin Nolan, Richard Thomas and Mark Crossley. They were a massive influence on my time there and my career in general. They gave me the freedom to express myself take my game to the next level and all 3 I still keep in contact with today.
What are your personal targets this season?
My personal target for this season is to play as many games as I can for Weymouth. A club that has given me a chance in the national league to be a number 1 again so I want to repay that with as many good performances and clean sheets as I can.