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Club News

CLOUGH ON GOALKEEPING OPTIONS

11 May 2018

Nigel Clough is pleased with the four goalkeepers he has at his disposal for next season as preparations begin for the 2018/19 season.

The club’s retained list was confirmed this week, with last season’s No 1 Stephen Bywater already under contract for next term.

Harry Campbell is out of contract but has been offered fresh terms, with Clough keen to see Campbell start first-team fixtures next season with the increased fixture commitments over the campaign in cup competitions.

Jack Livesey is under contract until 2020 and Callum Hawkins, who spent last season on loan at Gresley, signed a one-year professional deal this week.

“Goalkeeping can be a problem but Stephen had a magnificent season and I would say was our most consistent player,” said Clough. 

“When you watch the goals week-in, week-out and goalkeepers make mistakes, but we can only really put one down to him. Right to the last game at Preston he was magnificent. 

“I know how highly everybody regards his performances this season. He’s been very good, very consistent and probably one of the best goalkeepers in the league this season, which considering the number of goals we’ve conceded is unusual. 

“He’s worked very well with Harry Campbell and hopefully Harry will be staying. Then we’ve got two young keepers in the system with Jack Livesey and Callum Hawkins. Both have got potential. 

“Callum has had some great experience out at Gresley this year, done really well playing men’s football, and the idea is to have one of those two out on loan at any one time playing men’s football. The other three will stay here.

“With more games it gives us a chance to give Harry games, like in the Checkatrade Trophy, things like that, and maybe the Carabao Cup. 

“I was talking to Harry yesterday and we were laughing - one of his family had asked why he hadn’t played.

"He said he must be the unluckiest keeper ever because he spent six months on the bench at Bolton then on the bench for 18 months here, and not once has the keeper (in front of him) been injured or sent off! 

“He said it must be a record to not get on the pitch and for the goalie not to suffer anything!”

But Clough has no qualms with Campbell’s improvement on the training pitch and in Senior Cup and friendly games.

“The most important thing with Harry is he’s improving every day in training,” Clough added. 

“And we know now that the other players would have no problem at all if Harry had to go in goal at any time. 

“He said he couldn’t believe how well Stephen has done this season. Bear in mind we brought Connor Ripley in - we said to Harry that it wasn’t because of him, that was to challenge Stephen. 

“Stephen exceeded and Connor was the first to acknowledge that.”


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