'He has all the attributes you want': Why Portsmouth are fortunate to call upon highly-regarded ex-Wolves, Ipswich and Burnley man
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That’s the glowing verdict of goalkeeping coach Joe Prodomo, who was instrumental in identifying Will Norris to become their new number one.
That form persuaded Pompey to make Norris their first signing of the summer, last month capturing him on a three-year deal.
And Prodomo, who was also involved in Matt Macey’s January recruitment, has high hopes for Norris.
He told The News: ‘Will’s a good character and a leader, a good role model, and has all the attributes you want in a goalkeeper.
‘He played a high number of games for Cambridge United when younger and did really well, which got him his move much further up the pyramid. Perhaps, as a result, he didn’t have as much regular football as he’d like in recent years.
‘But when we came to look at our targets for this summer, he was coming off the back of half-a-season of football, is in his prime years, and has a lot of good football ahead of him.
‘It’s also someone who can bring into the group the standards and experience from playing in the Premier League - and we feel like we’re getting Will in a real sweet spot, as represented by the length of his deal.
‘He has really good ability in possession, very calm with the ball, which gives us a flexibility to play different ways, while having the range to play more direct if we choose to.
‘Will is also a really proactive goalkeeper, so positions himself well. He’s got that mindset where he wants to make life difficult for the opposition, so, by occupying a positive position, it means opposition crosses must be further from goal or even more pinpoint.
‘He’s very mobile for someone who is 6ft 3in, so quick and agile, and while people mention that Sheffield Wednesday game, Will is thick-skinned enough to know that’s how goalkeeping works.
‘I prefer to look at his impact over the 24 games, his 11 clean sheets, and making a positive impact in a team which had suffered a bit of disruption and were outside the play-offs - helping them finish sixth.’
In January, Macey’s Fratton Park arrival was initially not well-received by many supporters, even before his debut against Exeter.
Nonetheless, Prodomo was certain the Luton loanee would prove a Fratton Park hit.
He added: ‘With Matt, we felt really confident we were getting a good goalkeeper able to perform for us – and I think he did that in the second half of last season.
‘In January, the list of goalkeepers potentially available and having the ability to play at a club like Pompey in League One is limited. With Matt, we felt he was a really calm goalkeeper, good in his decision-making.
‘We’d obviously had a bit of disruption in the position with Josh Griffiths going back and Josh Oluwayemi stepping in for a couple of games, so, with all that and the managerial change, we felt it important someone could be a calming influence.
‘Matt certainly did that.’