The Imps have unveiled their fifth signing of a hectic week, 21-year old Josh Vickers has signed a two-year deal after being released by Swansea.
Rather unsurprisingly, Vickers is well-known to Danny and Nicky, having spent time on loan at Concord Rangers in their final season there. He’s six-foot tall and comes with a good football pedigree.
Vickers began his career in the youth team at Arsenal, spending time out on loan as a scholar at Canvey Island. He played 30 games there before signing his first professional contract at the Emirates. He then spent time out on loan with Danny and Nicky from November 2014 until the end of the 2014/15 season.
In August 2015 following his release from Arsenal, Vickers signed for Swansea City on a two-year deal. With first team opportunities limited he joined Barnet on loan last season, and finally got a break in the Football League. He made 22 appearances for Barnet, giving him regular football but perhaps not always the right defensive cover.
Vickers had a particularly bad week late on in September, conceding 10 in three games. Portsmouth hit Barnet for five, he then kept a clean sheet against Orient before Norwich Under 23s bagged another five. He did find his form though and ended up keeping seven clean sheets from his 22 appearances.
He was released in the summer by Swansea, prompting Danny to move to bring him to Sincil Bank. At just 21-years of age he is a prospect for the future, and he’s had a good football upbringing at Arsenal and Swansea. As part of Football League rules, one of the seven players on the bench must be a keeper, and with a season long loan deal in the pipeline for Richard Walton we did need a new face.
Is he here to provide back-up and nothing more? I don’t think so. Given where he has come from he’ll be hungry to get first team games, and technically he has more experience than Paul Farman in league football. I think come the season opener Paul Farman will be in the sticks, but Josh Vickers will be pushing him all the way.
In terms of ‘wow’ factor, bringing in a second keeper could be described as a non-event, but that wouldn’t do justice to Josh. The announcement might not set pulses racing, but there are interesting elements to the deal. Firstly, another two-year contract being offered up. This suggests to me that any thoughts of Danny and Nicky moving on should be put to the back of your mind. They’re clearly planning a season or two in advance and that is cause for excitement in itself.
I also like the fact Josh has a strong background with Arsenal and Swansea. He’s clearly highly thought of in football circles, being in goal for Barnet for a majority last season only reinforces the belief he isn’t here to meekly sit on the bench. Competition for places is vital, and Paul Farman didn’t have that pressure last season. He had a great campaign, and in my mind Farms is still number one, but with an ambitious and well-schooled player pushing him all the way, he’ll need to be on top of his game every week. That pressure and competition will drive us forward as a team.
Welcome to Sincil Bank Josh, you’re going to like it here. We’re going places.