Competition for keeper’s jersey will pay off, says Bolton Wanderers legend David Felgate

Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Andy Lonergan

Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Andy Lonergan

First published in Sport This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , sports writer

FORMER Wanderers stopper David Felgate hopes his old side can retain the services of both Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan for next season.

The goalkeeping duo each have one year left to run on their current deals and manager Dougie Freedman is hopeful both will be in his squad for the 2014/15 campaign and agree longer deals.

With third-choice Arran Lee-Barrett in talks over extending his stay after his short-term deal expired at the end of the last campaign, Freedman is mindful of having cover should one of his two main keepers be targeted this close season as they enter the final year of their contracts.

Felgate hopes that doesn’t happen, believing competition for the number one spot can bring out the best in both.

He told The Bolton News: “I have seen a lot of Andy from his days at Preston and Leeds. He is a good keeper and I don’t think he has done too badly when he has played for Bolton.

“I went back to watch a game at the Reebok last season, against Burnley after John Thomas invited me, and I expected to see him playing.

“As it turned out, it was Adam who was in goal and I thought he did okay.

“You can tell by the way he plays he has worked with Fred (Barber, former goalkeeping coach) and Jussi (Jaaskelainen).

“Both are good enough and I hope for Bolton’s sake they stay on next season.

“To have two good keepers vying for a place is good for a manager.”

While Felgate admits keeping both is the ideal scenario, he knows it may be out of Freedman’s hands if one of the pair decides to move on.

He says it will be a decision for Lonergan, in particular, after ending the campaign on the bench.

Felgate has seen a similar situation happen at Manchester City, where he now works with the younger players as coach, this season with Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon.

And the 54-year-old also recalls his own dilemma before leaving the Whites in 1993 with Keith Branagan establishing himself in the number one jersey.

The Welsh stopper added: “It has happened at City this season with Costel and Joe.

“Joe made a few mistakes, by his own admission, and it gave Costel a chance and he didn’t let the team down.

“But Joe came back in and ended the season strongly and now Costel has been released.

“I’m not sure he would want to stay on next season and be the back-up anyway.

“I was in a similar situation at the end of my time at Bolton.

“Keith Branagan was first-choice and I just felt i didn’t want to be sat on the bench every week so moved on.

“It isn’t the same for everyone; some do not mind doing that.

“The problem you are always going to have in life as a goalkeeper is that there is only one place up for grabs in the team.

“But it is always better to have two quality keepers to choose from.”

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