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New keepers to battle it out for No 1 spot

12 June 2014

Gaffer pleased to have good goalkeeping choices

Micky Mellon wants Jayson Leutwiler and Mark Halstead to go toe to toe in the battle to establish themselves as Shrewsbury Town's new No 1 ahead of the new season.

The Town boss was delighted to add Swiss keeper Leutwiler to his squad yesterday after bringing in Halstead from Blackpool last week.

With Town already boasting the services of two highly-rated young keepers in Callum Burton and Harry Lewis, the club's goalkeeping department certainly looks to be in safe hands under the guidance of goalkeeping coach Danny Coyne.

Leutwiler has spent the last two seasons with Middlesbrough having previously spent time with FC Basel in Switzerland.

Micky said: "Again he's got potential but he's got a lot of experience under his belt, being at a fantastic club like Middlesbrough and being in and around the Champions League when he was over in Switzerland.

"He brings a lot of experience of being in that although maybe not always as No 1 but being among groups that have competed at those levels so he fitted with what I wanted to do.

"I could have gone for a more experienced keeper because there were experienced keepers available but I just felt that the stage he's at he ticked a lot of boxes.

"I believe and Danny Coyne believes he's going to get much better as well. He's already a very good goalkeeper but he's going to get better. He wants to get better and that's the type of team I want to put together, a group that are very ambitious and want to get better and get their own careers into a better place."

Micky added it was now up to Leutwiler and Halstead to battle it out for the right to start the season as Town keeper.

He said: "Everybody starts on the start line and when the gun goes you have to be the one to make sure you're in the first XI when it gets picked.

"Those two will have a good battle. Halstead's in the same sort of situation. He's again a lad I know can get much better and already is a very good goalkeeper.

"He's been around the Premier League, the Championship, so he knows what it's like to prepare for games at those levels. Now he just needs to get the games under his belt.

"For the two of them it should be fantastic because they will go toe to toe for that position and they know when they're holding the jersey they'll have to keep up a level of performance because they know they've got somebody knocking behind them.

"We've also got the two young ones who will be given the time to develop properly as young men and goalkeepers." 


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