This time last year, if you’d have told me that Andy Coughlin would be Wrexham first team goalkeeper, I won’t lie, I think I would have been a little bit sick in my own mouth. As I, like so many Wrexham fans were unimpressed by the young Scouse ‘keeper. But alas, a string of Joslain Mayebi errors at the beginning of the season, and all of a sudden the news a minority fans were desperate for, no not the re-signing of Chris Maxwell to the chant of “we knew you’d come home”, but Andy Coughlin’s name was read out on the tannoy.
From October onward, Coughlin had the chance to cement a place in the first team, and it wouldn’t be easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the errors Mayebi made, especially against Cambridge United which seemed to be his downfall, but the defence wasn’t exactly steady was it? With the departures of Martin Riley and Chris Westwood and some less than miraculous decision making from the management, at one point it was an entire back line of full-backs. So to convert them to a centre half would take time, and on many occasions cost matches. But the Cambridge mistake was the last straw, and rightfully so, and a week later Coughlin stepped in for the first time this season.
I was a little more confident of him between the sticks after pre-season, as he had a wonderful summer, I was shocked to see such a superb performance against Blackburn Rovers at the Racecourse. A steady few matches gave him a leg to stand on against Mayebi for the 2013/2014 season. His first game of the season was admittedly one to forget, as two goals in as many minutes against Salisbury City meant another loss to semi-pro opposition. But he was kept in the side and has flourished since. A particular highlight coming against Southport where he pulled off some Peter Schmeichel-esque saves!
He has come a long way since first signing, and I can’t see him being benched for some time, as a young keeper he has a long way to go yet. I like many are thrilled that he proved us wrong, and a good season behind him will do him the world of good. With a firm reliable goalkeeper you’ve always got a chance, and we’ve got that in Andy Coughlin.