As it stands right now the only keeper known to be joining us for next season is Michael Hale, a 16 year-old schoolboy from the North East, who will be one of the new intake of scholars.
That means that Stan will have to bring in at least one and probably two keepers by the time we get under way on 9th August with the new First Division season.
A number of names have already been mentioned. We told you almost two weeks ago that youngster Luke Steele could be coming in from Manchester United whilst Leeds’ Nigel Martyn and Paul Gerrard of Everton have also been mentioned.
Surely these two can be ruled out. Gerrard is under contract at Goodison Park and Everton would want a fee whilst Martyn could find himself back as first choice at Elland Road if Paul Robinson is moved out to help reduce the massive debts at Leeds.
Neither would surely be in our range in terms of wages and it is much more likely that we will be looking at a couple of keepers who both played in the First Division last season.
Rotherham’s second choice keeper Ian Gray has been linked with us. Gray had a season in the first team when Mike Pollitt moved to Chesterfield but has been consigned to the reserves mainly since Pollitt returned. He made six appearances last season.
Number one target we believe though is Grimsby’s Danny Coyne and this is not the first time the Clarets have been linked with a move for the 29 year-old Welsh international.
His 2002/03 CV might not be the best, as an ever present at Grimsby he conceded almost as many goals as the Clarets and he shipped a total of twelve goals in the four games we played against the Mariners.
But Coyne is rated one of the top keepers in the division and is set to leave Blundell Park after Grimsby were relegated. He has been with them for four seasons since Alan Buckley picked him up on a Bosman free transfer from Tranmere Rovers.
To say he has been first choice keeper in that time is something of an understatement, he has played 181 of the 184 league games during those four seasons to add to his 111 league appearances for Tranmere.
Turf Moor sources have suggested that Coyne is the number one target and he could well be the one lining up in goal for us when the 2003/04 season gets underway.