Peterborough United go into the new season with a fourth different goalkeeper in four seasons.
After having a loanee goalkeeper start each of the last two seasons, Posh have the luxury of going into the new season with not only their own goalkeeper but they have two decent keepers battling each other for the number one spot.
Irishman Conor O’Malley arrived early last season from St Patrick’s Athletic but played second fiddle most of the time to Reading loanee Jonathan Bond. Whenever the 23-year-old got a chance to play in the first team last season, he rarely let the team down showing the potential that caught the eye of Posh.
His 13 appearances were enough for him to be called into the Republic of Ireland squad for the end of season friendly against Celtic, which was a testimonial fixture for Scott Brown, before sitting on the bench for the matches against France and the USA.
His rival for the number one jersey is the current League Two Golden Glove winner Aaron Chapman…
Aaron Chapman was the first arrival of the summer at the ABAX Stadium. He had helped his former club Accrington Stanley win the League Two title while keeping an impressive 18 clean sheets earning him the League Two Golden Glove. When his contract expired at the end of the season though, Posh pounced to get their man.
Standing at 6 feet 7 inches, he’s certainly one of the tallest goalkeepers we’ve ever had at Posh and based on the team selections, not that you should judge anything on the pre-season selection, he may have the edge over O’Malley. However, his performance against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend was worrying as he seemed to flap on occasions, his kicking was very poor and he only seemed to save shots that were hit directly at him!
JOSH TIBBETTS & MARK TYLER
Posh do also have youngster Josh Tibbetts and Mark Tyler on their books.
Tibbetts is expected to go out on loan again this season and has already had a trial at Boreham Wood. It will be a big year for Tibbetts as he enters the last year of his contract as he looks to do enough to earn a new contract.
Tyler is the current goalkeeper coach but is still registered as a player just in case he is needed to step into the shoes of any of the keepers in the squad.
Vital Posh Verdict:
Chapman played in the only home pre-season match against Bolton Wanderers which suggests he has won the battle over the number one jersey. You can’t argue against someone who kept so many clean sheets last season but was that mainly down to Chapman or the defence in front of him?
From what we’ve seen so far, Chapman maybe tall but the goals he’s conceded in pre-season, he seems slow and not a very good shot stopper! Add to the fact his kicking isn’t very good then you have to question if he should be the main man for the job!
Conor O’Malley, on the other hand, played eleven times for Posh last season and rarely let the side down. He was unlucky not to play more often last season due to the form of loanee Jonathan Bond.
Based on last season and what we’ve seen so far in pre-season, we’d start with O’Malley in goal.