Cornell warns Smith he faces a fight for Cobblers’ number one shirt

Cobblers goalkeeper David Cornell
Cobblers goalkeeper David Cornell
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New signing David Cornell has warned Adam Smith that he faces competition for the Cobblers’ number one shirt next season.

The 25-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Sixfields, with Ryan Clarke departing the club and heading for AFC Wimbledon.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Clarke only managed four appearances throughout the whole of last season, all in cup competitions, as Smith made the goalkeeping spot his own under Chris Wilder.

But with a new manager in charge now in the shape of Rob Page, Cornell sees it very much as a clean slate at Sixfields and he intends to stake his claim for a first team start.

Smith started every game as the Cobblers stormed to the Sky Bet League Two title, and was named in the Football League team of the season.

The former Leicester City man’s stock is high, but that doesn’t faze Cornell.

“He had a fantastic season last season, but I am happy enough to challenge anyone in these leagues,” said the former Swansea City man when he was asked about Smith.

“It should be a good competition for that shirt and I am looking forward to it.

“I am going to go in and work hard as I usually do, and fingers crossed I can start the season with the number one shirt and then play as many games as possible.”

A former Wales Under-21 international, Cornell joins the Cobblers after a frustrating second half to the season at previous club Oldham Athletic.

Prior to the turn of the year he saw plenty of game time, but he didn’t play a first team match from January 2 onwards, and it was time for a fresh start when the Latics released him at the end of the campaign.

“It was disappointing to leave Oldham because I played 20-odd games there last season and expected to play a little bit more,” said Cornell.

“But it was just another chance to move on and take an opportunity somewhere else.”

So how did the move to Northampton come about?

“It’s been going on for around two weeks now,” said Cornell, who hails from the Welsh village of Waunarlwydd, which is on the outskirts of Swansea.

“I met Rob Page 10 days ago and since then it has been about pushing it over the line, and now we have done it.”

The player signed after hearing good things about the club from his former Swansea club-mate Danny Alfei, and he is looking forward to a good campaign in league one.

“A good solid season in league one, as a club would be great,” said Cornell.

“Obviously we want to push as high as we can get, and who’s saying we can’t reach the play-offs or even higher?”