Exiles eye new goalkeeper
NEWPORT County AFC are close to swooping for a second goalkeeper this summer with ex-Chelsea man Lenny Pidgeley set to sign a short-term deal.
The Exiles, who take on a Swansea City XI tonight, replaced long-standing goalkeeper Glyn Thompson this summer with Stevenage man Alan Julian but he was injured in the first pre-season game of the summer.
Julian collided with another new recruit, defender Tony James, and damaged knee ligaments – making him a doubt for the start of the new campaign.
The Exiles have featured both Llanelli goalkeeper Ashley Morris and Merthyr youngster Joe Perry, son of former County and Cardiff City defender Jason, so far in pre-season.
However, it appears Edinburgh wants someone more experienced to be in goal should Julian fail to make the big kick-off on August 11 – and increasingly the signs are that will be the case – and currently unattached stopper Pidgeley, 28, fits the bill.
Pidgeley is a product of the Chelsea youth system and has featured for the Blues in the first team, starting in the Premier League and FA Cup and also representing England at every level from under-16 to under-21.
Pidgeley then transferred to Millwall where he played 55 games over three seasons and has also turned out for Carlisle, Exeter and Woking where he worked with County’s assistant boss Jimmy Dack.
Pidgeley has yet to find a new home this summer and Edinburgh feels a non-contract signing can be a win-win scenario for player and club.
"It’s one we’ve had to look at, Alan is probably going to miss the start of the season and Lenny needs a shop window to get sorted longer term," he said.
"We see this as a win for both parties as we get an experienced goalkeeper and Lenny can show everyone what he can do.
"Jimmy Dack has worked with him before and at 28 he’s spent virtually his whole career at a higher level and obviously wants to get back there."
The move for Pidgeley is similar in nature to the short-term move for David Pipe last term although that ended up becoming a permanent deal.
It won’t come at any significant financial cost for the Exiles who have now reached their limit in terms of the playing budget for next term.
That doesn’t mean that no one else will be joining the club, who could look to the loan market ahead of the trip to Mansfield Town on Saturday, August 11.
Edinburgh is close friends with Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay and his assistant (and former Spurs teammate of Edinburgh’s) David Kerslake.
The Exiles benefited last term from the signing of Nat Jarvis from the Bluebirds and a similar deal for a Cardiff defender could be in the offing.
County’s director of football Tim Harris watched Cardiff’s youngsters at the weekend and the Exiles hierarchy will get a good look at Swansea’s fringe men at Rodney Parade tonight.
"We aren’t planning anymore permanent signings but nothing is set in stone," Edinburgh confirmed.
"We are having a chance to look at some players at Cardiff and Swansea and it’s possible that’s an avenue we’ll explore further."
Defender Ismail Yakubu will today have the pins removed after undergoing a wrist operation over the summer. He is expected to start in Friday’s clash with Yeovil Town.
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