Goalkeeper Richard Walton has today joined Northern Premier League side, Matlock Town on loan, again.
Walton has already spent time at Gainsborough and Cleethorpes this season, as well as Spalding and Bishop Stortford last time out. With Ryan Allsop being drafted in after Josh Vickers’ injury, the question has to be asked what the future holds for Walton?
He was an unused sub in the recent league game against Newport, but his path to the first team is currently blocked by both Allsop and Paul Farman. With Josh Vickers set to return before the end of the season, Walton has zero chance of getting into the first team frame.
Whilst games out on loan are good, Walton looks set to join the likes of Ayden Duffy and Darren Horrigan as keepers kept around the squad with little chance of a game.
His spell at Cleethorpes was a success from the Owls point of view, even if it did end up costing them points in the league.
I know hopes are high that Walton will develop into a valuable squad keeper and there’s also limited opportunities for a keeper at every club, but with three on the books going into March, I’m sure Richard Walton has one eye on the future with trepidation. Perhaps this move is a final chance to prove he’s worth another deal in the summer, if only for back up.
One hopes, having got to the Checkatrade Final this season, maybe some of the younger players might be given a group game or to next time out, maybe with us having a ‘been there, done that’ attitude to the competition. If we fail to go up this year, I’m sure fans would be more than happy for that.
Anyway, as Walton’s shirt sponsor last year and as proud owner of his match-worn shirt (or not as the case is), I wish him all the best at Matlock and hope he can prove to Danny he is at least worth keeping to loan out incessantly again next season.