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Segers relishes keeper battle

English Barclays Premiership

Hans Segers can barely wait for the most intriguing in-house battle to commence this summer. Our goalkeeping coach will work with three internationals in Ian Walker, Neil Sullivan and Espen Baardsen and says it will be a tough choice for boss George Graham between Walker and newcomer Sullivan for the first-choice spot.

Segers admitted: "I am really looking forward to working with these guys. I know Neil well and he has great agility, great technique and a safe pair of hands - but so has Ian.

"I thought Ian had a very consistent season. I looked at every performance, took every video home to study and look at things we can improve, all the small details. If you could see all season, you would see that Ian made some mistakes but you could only count them on one hand.

"I think it will be just on the day who will come out in top and that will be a very tough decision for the gaffer. At the end of the day the gaffer will have to decide who will play."

Segers, who made his name as a member of the Crazy Gang at Sullivan's former club Wimbledon in the 1990s, believes it will simply be a case of best man wins when it comes to who takes the field against Ipswich Town on August 19.

"In the goalkeeping world we always say that goalkeepers are the best of friends but also the biggest of rivals. It will have a lot to do with the pre-season games and how they perform.

"As a goalkeeper, you cannot hide. If they play five-a-side, seven-a-side, 10-a side and a goalkeeper is having a bad day it will always show. As a player you can hide a bit but as a goalkeeper there is no hiding place day-in, day-out.

"But goalkeepers love that. That is what we are here for, that pressure and to keep the ball out of the net. In my day, I loved every minute and I see that in these guys as well."

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.

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