Gavin Ward and Anthony Williams are two experienced goalies who fit the bill as able back-ups but have shown this season that they’re not the men to rely if you want to make a promotion push.
And that’s the problem. Chris Maxwell also made a point at the end of the campaign. He showed that he’s clearly ready to be trusted and that Dean Saunders need not worry that he’d crack if thrust into first team action. However, it’d be a crazy risk to throw an eighteen-year-old in as first choice for the start of next season, and that’s where chronology did for Ward and Williams.
If Maxwell was a couple of years older, with a bit more experience under his belt, Saunders might have been tempted to take the plunge. If so, either Ward or Williams would have fitted the bill as his deputy, but that’s not what Saunders is looking for now. Surely he needs a sop-gap keeper to be first choice while Maxwell develops.
One option would be to go for an on-loan solution; I wonder if, while watching us beat Weymouth, Gunnar Neilsen had his ear bent on the subject of a season-long arrangement once his thumb heals? Otherwise, an Andy Dibble-style signing would fit the bill; a keeper nearing the end of his career who is reliable enough to be first choice and could also help Maxwell’s development.
Sadly neither Williams nor Ward, affable fellows both, fit that particular bill.