Keepers on the shopping list for Martin to challenge Nicholls for the number one spot

Lee NichollsLee Nicholls
Lee Nicholls
Third choice stopper Laurie Walker is set to return as Dons boss seeks a strong back-up for Lee Nicholls

Russell Martin says Lee Nicholls has earned his right to be the club's first-choice goalkeeper this season but wants him to be looking over his shoulder at a strong back-up choice.

Stuart Moore was released at the end of last season, having been replaced on the bench after 18 months by Blackburn loanee Andrew Fisher.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Fisher returning to Lancashire though, and with Moore's release, it means Nicholls is Dons' only keeper left on the books. Nicholls' performances in goal for Dons, especially learning to play in Martin's style of football, primarily with the ball at his feet, grew in stature according to his manager. And with those ever-improving performances, Martin says Nicholls has earned the right to be the club's number one choice, but he wants to bring in a strong number two to give Nicholls a challenge.

"We're looking to get another keeper in as quick as possible, but that's taking longer than we wanted but we want the right one," said Martin. "Lee has come back really well. He's been doing sessions during the off-period. He's a big player for us last season.

"Lee understands he can't be comfortable, and the person we bring in will put pressure on him, but he deserves to be our number one after last season and he has to continue next season. He plays a really important part for us."

Walker, who spent most of the season out on loan at non-league clubs, pulled on the Dons shirt mostly for reserve team games and though was released like Moore at the end of the season, has returned to training at Woughton with a deal on the table for his services again.

"Laurie Walker is in training with us and we're trying to get that sorted as quickly as possible. He does a great job for us in terms of the squad."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.