Chief scout Tracey believes Arnold signing is a real coup for Cobblers

Cobblers chief scout Simon Tracey believes the club have pulled off a real coup with the signing Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 2:42 pm
Cobblers goalkeeper Steve Arnold (Picture: Pete Norton)

The 29-year-old was this week signed from the Shrews for an undisclosed fee, agreeing a two-year deal at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Arnold was Shrewsbury's first choice shot-stopper for the bulk of the last Sky Bet League One season, playing 32 games until a hamstring injury saw him sidelined.

He is a player that former Sheffield United goalkeeper Tracey has been tracking for a long time, and the Town scout feels he will offer serious competition to David Cornell for the keeping slot at the PTS.

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Steve Arnold in action for Shrewsbury last season

He also believes the former Stevenage goalkeeper is somebody who is only going to get better.

"First and foremost I am delighted to have Steve in the building, he will provide excellent competition for Dai," said Tracey.

"Last season, did we feel we had enough competition for Dai? No, we didn't.

"But this year with Steve we feel we will have. He has just come out of league one, which is a statement in itself.

Steve Arnold has signed a two-year deal at the Cobblers

"The lad was desperate to get back down south and be closer to his family, and we took that opportunity.

"He played 30 games last season in league one, and he only had his first full-time goalkeeping coach last year.

"There is plenty more to come from Steve, and hopefully Dan will get the best out of him. It is a great acquisition, and addition to the squad.

"I know the criteria that Keith wants from his goalkeeper, I have known for the past five or six years.

Cobblers chief scout Simon Tracey

"We feel that Steve meets that criteria, but he has to prove that as well, and also he has somebody in front of him at the moment who he has to get past.

"It means there will be excellent competition for that spot, and may the best man win."

Manager Keith Curle is also delighted to have captured the signing of Arnold.

"He has good experience and had a verey good season last season, playing 30-odd games for Shrewsbury," said the Cobblers boss.

"He has good attributes, is a good size, he wants to dominate the six-yard box and the second six-yard box as well.

"He has decent distribution, stands up well, and is good at keeping the ball out of the net.

"Steve has slightly different main attributes than what Dai has got, and he is going to add good competition for the goalkeeping position."

And he added: "Part of the criteria that I put to Simon (Tracey), was that we wanted somebody that fills the goal, has a presence, so that when the ball is knocked into out box, he shouts 'keeper' and he is going to come and get it, and people are going to move out of the way.

"That is important, and there is the technical side which we will work on.

"He will benefit from having the full-time goalkeeping coaching and training that Dan (Watson) will provide.

"He has key attributes that we like, but we feel we can still make him better, and improve and develop him so he can take the next step.

"It's the benefit of having a head of recruitment who has made his reputation by being a goalkeeper, and then having Dan Watson the goalkeeping coach, I have a lot of faith in them."