INTERVIEW: He's at a good level

Keeper coach Tony Caig talks about new arrival Dan Hanford

Keeper coach Tony Caig spoke to us this afternoon about new stopper Dan Hanford who joins Mark Gillespie in the professional goalkeeping ranks at Brunton Park on a one-year deal following a successful summer trial spell.

“I'd been offered a few goalkeepers once the season finished but Dan actually got in touch with me himself when he heard we'd released Greg,” he said. 

“He's been playing for Floriana in Malta, and he was out of contract, so he wanted to know what our situation was. I told him I was putting a group of goalkeepers together to come in and train a week before the rest of the squad came back for pre-season so I invited him to come along.”

“I watched some clips of him and I spoke to some of the coaches he's worked with in this country,” he continued. “Once I'd seen him at work with the others I felt he was the one who had the desire and competitive edge we were looking for. 

“He'd been offered a deal to stay in Malta, and he's built a life out there for himself, so it was as big decision for him to make. The fact that he put so much into it tells me a heck of a lot about him before we even get out onto the training pitches. We're happy with how he's gone about his business and his training during his time with us so far.”

“Another important thing I had to consider was his relationship with Mark and the youth team keepers,” he added. “They all work very closely together so it's important they get on and work well. 

“He's got a good presence about him and he's quiet aggressive in terms of coming out and dealing with crosses. He's quick and he kicks really well which is an important part of the keeper's game these days. 

“His all round game is at quite a good level and, at the age he’s at, there are always going to be things he’ll need to improve on. I have no doubt that will happen because he has the desire to learn. 

“He's got an appetite to work which will mean that he'll push Mark all the way. That’s important in any position but, with a small group of keepers, it also brings a little bit of a competitive edge. 

“With the way they both are it will mean that they will push each other on and that can only benefit all of us in the long run.”

We’ll have reaction to the deal from Dan Hanford on the official website later this week.
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