The Portsmouth seal of approval that convinced Bradford boss to sign Luke McGee

Gary Bowyer revealed Pompey goalkeeping coach John Keeley gave the seal of approval for Bradford to sign Luke McGee.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:58 am

McGee was firmly on the periphery of things at Fratton Park. He hadn’t played a competitive game since December 2018, having been behind Craig MacGillivray and Alex Bass in the pecking order.

But Bowyer's confident the 24-year-old will be ready for immediate action at the Bantams and is set to start their League Two clash against Scunthorpe tomorrow.

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The Bradford boss worked with Keeley at Blackburn and reached out to his former backroom staff member for his verdict on McGee.

And Keeley gave the stopper his thumbs up.

Bowyer told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: ‘I know the goalkeeping coach at Portsmouth, John Keeley, who I worked with at Blackburn.

‘I know exactly what will have been going on with the goalies down there. There was no way in the world Luke would just be turning up being cannon fodder.

Luke McGee, left, and Pompey goalkeeping coach John Keeley. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘He would have got worked by John. When I spoke to him, he said Luke was ready.

‘Sometimes it works in the third keeper’s favour a little bit. When the manager wants to do his team shape, he pulls the two goalies over and that leaves the other keeper to work with the goalkeeping coach one on one.

‘I think that’s happened this year a lot and he’s benefited from that.’

McGee was desperate to play regular football again, with his last outing for Kenny Jackett’s side in December 2018.

But McGee does join another League Two side aiming to go up this term and Bowyer’s confident he’ll handle the pressure.

Bowyer added: ‘We warned him about what to expect here and he said, “I’m ready, you can’t put me off”. We’re delighted with his attitude about wanting to come and join us.

‘He's had a fantastic upbringing at Tottenham and then went and had a great year at Peterborough in League One. Then he played for Portsmouth in League One and is used to playing in front of big crowds.

‘It’s very important for any player to step into that environment and be able to handle it, even more so for a goalkeeper.

‘The fact that he has done it at Portsmouth and played 50 games for them the year before. That was paramount in my thinking.

‘He’s a good size, he’s loud and he’s confident. He’s worked with the back four or five and gone through stuff with them and straight away they’ve got a connection already.’