Keeping it Real

ONE of many positions where new Argyle manager Ryan Lowe will be looking to build healthy competition is between the sticks.

Following the departure of Kyle Letheren, teenager Michael Cooper is the only professional custodian on the books and Ryan is looking forward to his talented youngster challenging a new face for the number one jersey.

Cooper famously made a fantastic impression on his debut as a substitute against Blackburn in October 2017 and, while opportunities were limited last season, he remains a goalkeeper with immense promise.

“Michael Cooper is a good goalkeeper and you don’t go away with England under-19s if you’re not very good,” said Ryan. “He’s a fantastic lad and got all the credentials to be a top goalkeeper.

“I am going to bring in another ‘keeper and then it’s up to those two. I’ve told the lads if you perform, you keep your shirt. All I do is write your name on a team sheet.

“As for now, we’ve got Michael and a youth-team ‘keeper, so we’re alright. We want to give Michael a chance and whoever we bring in, it doesn’t mean he will be number one.”

Letheren left Home Park last week after making 23 appearances for Argyle and, irrespective of that decision, Ryan conceded his intention was always to bring in a new goalkeeper for added competition.

“I was aware he [Letheren] had been offered a contract before I was appointed,” said Ryan. “I was asked whether I wanted to keep Kyle Letheren and I said it was fine if the contract was still offered, but I would want to bring in another ‘keeper as well.”