The must-have criteria Danny Cowley wants in new Portsmouth keeper as he targets two stopper signings

Danny Cowley has identified the credentials he wants in his new Pompey goalkeeper.

The Blues head coach is searching for two summer signings in a position which has been most impacted by his post-season cull.

Lewis Ward has returned to parent club Exeter, while Craig MacGillivray, Duncan Turnbull and Taylor Seymour have been released.

There isn’t even a first-team goalkeeping coach following John Keeley’s departure, although under-18s coach Michael Poke remains.

And he has revealed the criteria he wants in favoured candidates.

Cowley told The News: ‘They all save shots, but I can go in goal and save shots. I can!

‘We like them to be able to come and catch crosses, to be a calming influence and a good communicator. To have presence and leadership.

Danny Cowley is seeking a replacement for Craig MacGillivray, despite the Scot being a League One ever-present this season. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘And I like them to be good distributors.

‘They need a number of different (golf) clubs. Play the short, the medium and long range, and be able to make the right decision as to who’s the free man on the pitch and where the space is.

‘I always say to my goalkeepers, assess the press. So where is the space, where is the free man? Look up the pitch first.

‘If there’s three v three on the halfway line, I would drop it in and we’ll exit the half really quickly.

‘Really my ambition is to exit the half as quickly as I can with as much control and rhythm as I can.

‘So if I've got a goalkeeper who can just drop it into my front man, my front man can then receive it, put his body in and set it back to my midfield player. Then suddenly I have broken three lines and am out of the half.

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‘I certainly don't want to make 100 passes to get over the halfway line because I find it so boring. I want to play fast, I want to play quick, I want to play attacking football.

‘The goalkeeper is important in that he has to distribute well from the goal kick, distribute quickly out of the hands.

‘He has to be calm enough to receive back passes and build from those moments as well.’

Yet he admits League One does offer challenges when trying to recruit the ideal keeper.

He added: ‘It’s sometimes difficult to get it all in League One for a goalkeeper. You have to respect that.

‘League One distribution in a nutshell is if they have a super strength then – guess what – they have a super weakness. Facts.

‘If they are quite good at everything, then on a good day they are good at everything. On a bad day, they are pretty bland.

‘That’s League One recruitment.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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