Four potential candidates to become Portsmouth's new goalkeeping coach

Pompey are closing in on a new goalkeeping coach.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 12:38 pm
JImmy Walker. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Danny Cowley’s expected to finalise his backroom staff in the coming days ahead of the Blues’ return for pre-season training on Monday.

The long-serving John Keeley was relieved of his duties at the end of last season and has subsequently linked-up with ex-Pompey boss Paul Cook at Ipswich.

But who could Keeley’s successor be?

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Michael Poke. Picture: Mick Young

We’ve taken a look at four candidates who could fit the bill...

Jimmy Walker

If Cowley wants someone he's worked with before, ex-West Ham and Walsall stopper is a candidate.

Walker was employed by Cowley at Lincoln in 2016 and they steered the club to National League glory that season - as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup when knocked out by Premier League giants Arsenal.

The 47-year-old was poached by Sunderland in 2018, but left just four months laters for Ipswich to be nearer his family in Essex.

However, Walker didn’t survive Paul Cook's cull at Portman Road.

The former Pompey boss said he wanted to freshen not only his playing squad but backroom up, with Keeley arriving as his replacement.

Steve Book

Having spent the past 10 years at Cheltenham, the former England C international worked with the likes of Jack Butland, Trevor Carson and Dillon Phillips.

Yet Book departed the Robins after they secured the League Two title last season.

In goal for all bar two of those games was Josh Griffiths – who's been on Pompey's list of goalkeeping targets this summer.

Books was credited with making the West Brom loanee ‘better and better’ by Whaddon Road chairman Andy Wilcox throughout the campaign.

In total, Griffiths kept 21 clean sheets in 44 league appearances and now has interest from League One trio Pompey, Lincoln and Sheffield Wednesday.

Book hails from Bournemouth so a return to the south coast could suit.

Michael Poke

If Cowley wants to promoted from within then the ex-Pompey keeper would be next in line.

Poke was employed by the Blues in March 2020 as academy goalkeeping coach, taking over from Fratton legend Alan Knight.

He mainly worked with the under-18s and was on duty for reserve matches when organised after coronavirus cases dropped.

Poke also filled in for the first team on the penultimate day of the season at AFC Wimbledon when Keeley was forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who'd tested positive for Covid-19.

Dave Coles

The respected coach has held talks with Cowley about potentially filling the void.

Coles spent five years at Fratton Park after arriving under Harry Redknapp in 2005 and was at the club for the most successful spell in their modern history.

He was credited with helping the emergence of Asmir Begovic and development of former England international David James.

The former West Ham, Bristol City and England under-18 coach has been out of work since leaving Bristol Rovers earlier this year.

Coles would be keen on a return to Fratton Park, but it appears Pompey are looking more closely at other avenues.