Competition is King for Carl

Spartans goalkeeper coach Carl King has spoken of the strength in depth Tommy Cassidy’s side has in the keeper department as they prepare for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League season. New signing Conor Grant has joined Rob Birdsall and Matty Hunter in the competition for a starting place between the sticks this season and King believes that Spartans manager Cassidy can see the position as well stocked between the three of them.

King said “I think we have a great strength in depth this season in the goalkeeping department. Individually they are all different, with their own strengths. All three are technically really good goalkeepers who can play at this level, especially with Matty and Rob playing in the Blue Square North for us last season. They are all a pleasure to work with and I must say I’m delighted for Matty being back in training and games after his injuries last season.”.

Grant joined the club from Gretna three weeks ago and has impressed so far in his two starting appearances against Ashington and Gateshead and King revealed that it was a former Newcastle United and Carlisle United keeper Tony Caig who recommended the 22 year old stopper to Spartans. He said “We’ve been very impressed with Conor. He come highly recommended from Tony and he hasn’t disappointed. It’s still early days but we have high hopes.”

Looking ahead to the new season King revealed that he’s not one for setting his keepers targets and prefers to look at their performances as an indicator of their development. The former Whitley Bay man said “A clean sheet is great but the keeper performance is more important for me, but I do analyse them in training and in games and if I see something that might need tweaked we will discuss it and work on it next training session.”

Following two good pre-season shows against Gateshead and Sunderland RCA, along with the new additions to the squad that we announced yesterday King spoke of his optimism for the club ahead of the new campaign and commented “After losing so many players after last season, we are slowly starting to take shape. Hopefully with a few more quality additions we can make a good attempt at coming back up first time of asking.”

Spartans fans will be able to see how the three keepers are shaping up over the next ten days as Tonbridge Angels, Dunston UTS and Team Northumbria all visit Croft Park for pre-season fixtures before the big kick off at Witton Albion on Saturday 18th August.

Posted by BSAFC Admin