50-year-old keeper makes Burton squad
Ahead of tonight’s League Two clash between Burton Albion and Mansfield, one player who has found himself back on the books would be forgiven for showing his age if forced between the sticks.
November 26th, 2013
Due to Sunderland’s recalling their on-loan goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, a selection crisis has forced manager Gary Rowett to put keeping coach Kevin Poole on the bench – aged 50.
Poole only retired from the game two years ago to take on the coaching role, but the Brewers’ lack of squad depth has meant he will cover for Dean Lyness as a substitute in tonight’s League Two match.
Poole has already warmed the bench this season following an injury to Lyness; but did not appear – he hasn’t done so since October 2010, when Albion lost 2-1 to Rotherham in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy quarter-final.
But with Pickford’s recall and two days until the loan window closes, manager Rowett needed to make a decision on Lyness’ suitability for the season ahead – whether he would sub for a higher-class keeper or himself be the first choice over the course of the season. Rowett feels this game is the chance to find out.
“We had to make the decision to bring in Jordan in the first place when Dean hasn’t done an awful lot wrong at times,” said Rowett. “We know he is a terrific goalkeeper, but there are just one or two aspects of his game that we want to improve before he gets a run of 20-30 games.
“He knows that and I think he accepts that, so we have a decision to make.”
“I said to Pooley at the start of the season that if we have to [use Poole] for one game, if it saves us wasting money on a loan keeper for a month, then it makes sense for me to do it.”
Burton Albion are currently 7th in League Two ahead of tonight’s 7.45 kick-off; occupying the final play-off spot on goal difference.