Ben Hamer is keeping his spirits high despite a lack of chances in the past couple of years, the Leicester City goalkeeper told in an exclusive interview with Leicester Mercury.
The 29-year old probably has to be on top of the list of the players you’d generally feel sorry for. Since his move from Charlton Athletic, where he was the first-choice for three years, he has made a mere 13 appearances during his time at the King Power Stadium, conceding 15 goals and keeping five clean sheets.
In contrast, Hamer had made 121 appearances for his former club, so to come to Leicester City and see himself go from a no.1 to a no.3 has obviously been tough for the Englishman.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, he said:
"“The last two years, it has not really gone my way,” he says. “The gaffers haven’t fancied me, so I have been pushed back into the shadows.“It has been really, really tough. I have been here, and not really been able to go out because the club want three keepers around the place.“You have to keep your head up. You have to get on with it. You have to do it yourself. But it is a lonely place being a goalkeeper.”“When I made the decision to come here, I knew Kasper was No.1. I thought if I do get an opportunity, I fancy myself to do well. I always back myself.“I was used to playing all my career as a No.1, then to come here and not have that, at first it was difficult. We know how good Kasper is, he is part of the furniture here. And he has proved a hard man to shift.”"
It can be difficult for a goalkeeper to come in for the odd appearance and perform at the required level. One such appearance for Ben Hamer, his only one in 2016/17, came in the 5-0 defeat to FC Porto after Leicester City had already qualified for the advanced stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The game left a mark on Hamer, though for the wrong reasons as he became the first English goalkeeper to concede five on his UCL debut.
"“When you come in for the odd game, it is hard not to chase it.“In the past when I have come in for the odd game, I have tried to make things happen when I don’t need to. Let the game come to you. That is something that I have learned.”"
Having spent much of his time in the dark during the presence of Mark Schwarzer and Ron-Robert Zieler, Ben Hamer is finally beginning to rise from rock bottom. The former Brentford goalkeeper has featured in both the Carabao Cup matches, keeping a clean sheet in the most recent fixture against Liverpool.
"“Shakey has given me another chance.“Even when he wasn’t the manager, he was always talking to me, telling me to keep my head and keep working hard and things might turn.“He told me to train well, and he said it was a level playing field. He has done that, to be fair to him. He told me to prove myself when I play, and that is all I can do.”"
Will he sign a new contract? Of course, he chooses not to decide for now.
"“We will see what happens,” he says. “I have got a year left on my contract and we will go from there.”"