Shrewsbury Town are delighted to announce that young goalkeeper Max O’Leary has joined from Championship side Bristol City on a season long loan.
The 22 year old keeper has progressed through the ranks at Bristol City and pushed into the first team last term, making 10 appearances in the Championship. He has also had loan spells out with Kidderminster Harriers, Bath City and Solihull Moors.
Town manager Sam Ricketts has been tracking Max for a while now and talks with City have been on going over previous weeks.
The deal was signed and sealed this afternoon and Sam is pleased to have added Max to his squad.
“Max is a player that we identified a little while ago as having potential”, said Sam.
“He finished the season strongly playing over 10 games in the Championship as Bristol City were still pushing for the play-offs.
“He is a player of real good stature and promise and someone that we are delighted to get in.”
Max is still learning and developing but he showed at the end of last season that he is good enough to play first team football.
“He is a young keeper who is improving all the time and stepping up each time, and that was shown at the end of last season”, said Sam.
“He played very well in those games, at some really big grounds and against some really good teams.
“We know there is still room to improve him so we are delighted to have him on board.”
The news now means that Town have added two new faces to the goalkeeping department in the last couple of days, and they will offer good competition for places.
“The idea is to have a couple of keepers in at different stages of their career to push each other”, said Sam.
“Joe has been there and done it but is still keen and hungry to play and perform, and is a voice in training and in the dressing rooms.
“Max is an up and coming goalkeeper who will be able to learn and with Brian coaching both of them I’m really pleased with our recruitment in that department.”
Sam has spoken in previous interviews about the possibility of getting in three keepers to push for places but he is now happy to go with two good options.
“They will be our two keepers going forward and we are now pretty settled in that department”, said Sam.
Town also have young Academy graduate Cameron Gregory in the squad. Last season Cam’s progress was hampered by a back problem but he is now fit and looking sharp in training.
“Cam has come back into pre-season and is looking really good and sharp”, said Sam.
“We will be looking for him to kick on and part of that will be for him to go out and play games this year.
“We will look to get him a development loan in and with the keepers we have in that will allow Cam to play first team football
“He has looked good in training, making good saves but it’s now important for him to go out and get first team football.
“He will still be here training and being coached but he now needs to play men’s football.”
In recent days the clubs media team have posted photos and videos from training. Eagle eyed Town fans have been quick to try and put names to faces. Sam revealed one of those faces will be around for a while yet.
“We have had a few different keepers in to help them out as they needed to train or to take a look at”, said Sam.
“We also have a keeper who has signed for another side that train on a Tuesday and Thursday night.
“He will train with us during the week as it’s a body for us when we need multiple keepers to help out but we are also giving him good training as well.”