Cobblers goalkeeping situation explained as Brady admits he may not sign a number two

James Dadge has done well in pre-seasonJames Dadge has done well in pre-season
James Dadge has done well in pre-season
‘He's local, he's a young boy and he's learning his trade so we'll be flexible with the situation as and when we need to be.’

Manager Jon Brady would have no issue if Cobblers start the new League One season with James Dadge as back-up goalkeeper to Lee Burge.

Burge, now 30, started every league game that he was fit for last season and will continue to be first-choice between the sticks at the start of the new campaign.

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With Jonny Maxted released after promotion from League Two, and Tom King turning down a new deal in favour of a move to Wolves, Town have been in the market for another goalkeeper this summer.

Two trialists played in goal for 45 minutes each against Kidderminster Harriers last week and the club have had other goalkeepers training with them during pre-season, but so far no one has done enough to sufficiently impress Brady.

Dadge, an 18-year-old who came through the club’s academy, featured against Birmingham and Leicester and did well in both games, and Brady would have no problem if he started the season as Town’s number two.

Keeping Dadge as back-up also means the club would retain the option to sign an emergency goalkeeper on loan should Burge suffer an injury. According to the rules, emergency loan signings are permitted, for an initial seven days, when all professional keepers at a club are injured.

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A ‘professional goalkeeper’ is classed as a player who has been named in the starting eleven on five or more occasions for a Premier League or EFL club in any competitions – excluding the Papa John’s Trophy. That means Dadge is not classed as a ‘professional’ goalkeeper under the EFL rules.

If a club has no professional goalkeepers available and want to sign an emergency loan player, they must submit evidence surrounding the unavailability of their other keepers to the EFL. Rules state that medical evidence can’t be accepted from anyone connected to the club. EFL regulations also say that all emergency loan deals ‘shall be for a period of seven days and may be renewed for seven days at a time’ depending on the situation.

"I think we will probably do that, yes,” confirmed Brady when asked if Dadge will start the season as back-up to Burge. “It's about getting our full worth on the pitch and making sure we do that.

"James has shown really good temperament in the games he's played in pre-season, which is important for a young goalkeeper.

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"Young goalkeepers can sometimes find themselves creating problems instead of keeping it simple but James has kept it really simple and shown good temperament.

"He's local, he's a young boy and he's learning his trade but we'll be flexible with the situation as and when we need to be."