LEE CLARK is more than happy that Simon Eastwood is back in Town!
The spotlight is on the 19-year-old goalkeeper following Matt Glennon’s knee surgery.
Highly-rated Alex Smithies remains the manager’s first choice, and is set for a 15th successive start at Stockport on Saturday.
But Glennon’s operation, which could rule him out for the rest of the season, means Eastwood, like Smithies an England Under-19 international, will be on the bench.
Clark has recalled Eastwood from his loan spell at Blue Square Premier club Woking, where he has made 17 appearances, and was considering giving him a run-out for the reserves at Bradford this afternoon (2.00).
“Having Simon available as back-up was a key part of Matt having his operation now,” said Clark, who will watch Town’s next two League I opponents when Colchester host Stockport tonight (the Essex side visit the Galpharm in seven days’ time).
“There has been a lot of talk about Alex Smithies, and rightly so, but don’t forget we are in the happy position of having two quality teenage keepers on the books.
“We’ve kept very close tabs on Simon during his time at Woking, and we know he’s been doing well down there.
“Our goalkeeping coach John Vaughan has watched him in person several times, we’ve had other scouts at their games, and I’ve been in close contact with their manager Phil Gilchrist.
“He’s been delighted with Simon’s form, and the experience he has gained will be invaluable should we need to call on him.
“Simon will be on the bench at Stockport and I would have no hesitation at putting him in if necessary.”
While Town’s second string, unbeaten in 10 games so far, aim to maintain their grip on the leadership of the totesport.com League East Division with derby victory over Bradford, loan men Jon Worthington and Danny Broadbent will also be in action.
Worthington plays for Yeovil at Crewe while Broadbent will figure for Blue Square North leaders Gateshead at Stalybridge.