Stuart Tomlinson signs Four Month Deal
Burton Albion have signed former Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson on a four month deal. Tomlinson, 27, who was a free agent after leaving Port Vale at the end of last season, will wear the number 13 shirt for Burton Albion and could be in line to make his debut at Rochdale on Saturday.
Shortly after signing the deal Tomlinson said, ‘It’s been a long summer for myself after leaving Port Vale. I got a call last week from Gaz (manager Gary Rowett) and spoke to him before coming in to do a few days training. It’s nice to have sorted something out. It’s only a short term deal but it’s an opportunity for me.
‘It’s been tricky over the summer. Obviously leaving Port Vale was a decision I made mainly to do with them being in administration. I ended up going on trial at Preston and playing a game for them. I did alright but now I’m looking forward to doing well for Burton.
‘I’m fully aware that Ross (Atkins) is here and Deano (Dean Lyness) is here, I’ve been training with them and they’re very good goalkeepers who have similar styles. I’ve come in to provide competition. Maybe I’m a bit different in terms of I might be a bit more aggressive, I don’t know.
‘By no means am I the most experienced goalkeeper in League Two but I won’t be a stranger to most of the grounds, I will have been there and played before. I know a few of the lads here so that makes things easier. I’d try and use the word commanding (to describe my style of play). Most goalkeepers will be decent shot stoppers, I’ll give 110% and hopefully that’s good enough.
‘I’m definitely looking forward to working with Kevin Poole. When you look at the modern day goalkeeper you’re talking about 6ft 4’ plus. Pooley has had a great career and he’s not 6ft 4’ and I’m really looking forward to working with him.
‘If I can impress the lads and impress the manager then maybe we can work something out (long term) but it’s a long time until Christmas so I won’t count my chickens.
Brewers boss Gary Rowett said, ‘I just felt we needed a little bit more presence and size at this moment in time. He’s a free agent and although the timing is never always perfect, we’ve seen him before and he’s been training here. He’s a keeper I’ve always like when we’ve played against him at Port Vale. He’s big, strong and a real commanding presence back there. We felt as if he was a good body to get in.
‘We were aware of him early on and I had a couple of calls from his agent to see if we would be interested. Now we’re getting into the season I feel he’s the right type of keeper to add to what we already have. Tomo will come in and add some real competition there. I thought Dean did particularly well (at Coventry in midweek) but he’s one we have earmarked for the future and I just feel perhaps at this moment in time this will give us the opportunity to get him out (on loan) and get him some regular games.
‘Pooley has been aware of him for some time. Whatever keeper he has he will work his socks off with them and work on all the technical drills. Occasionally you might sign someone when you already have someone in that position but you can never have too many good players and I think that’s very important.
‘I want to see him (Tomlinson) grasp the opportunity if he gets the chance and show us what he’s all about, to be a presence behind the back four and to organise the back four. I want him to be a real strong character back there.
‘Ross has done well and made some good saves, particularly at Sheffield United and Leicester he made some outstanding saves. Sometimes occasionally it would be nice to have that presence there at a set piece to come and knock someone out the way and catch it and add a bit more experience in there. We always knew that Ross and Dean were quite young keepers so this adds experience for if and when we need it.
‘I’ve not made the decision yet (for if Tomlinson will start on Saturday) but what I will say is that if I bring someone in then they are up for a chance of playing, certainly. There might be an opportunity over the next day or so to bring one or two bodies in who might be an impact off the bench but I think in the goalkeeping position there’s a strong chance he will be involved pretty soon.’