The Imps have bagged 6ft 5in stopper Ethan Ross this afternoon, the first of two keepers expected at Sincil Bank.
Ross arrives on a free transfer from Colchester United, with whom he has spent the last two seasons. He’s experienced the Sincil bank atmosphere before, he was in goal the afternoon we lost 3-0 but were presented with the League Two title.
The 23-year-old began his youth career with Arsenal and Cambridge United, before joining West Bromwich Albion. During his time with the Baggies, he gained senior experience n the non-league with Worcester City and Redditch.
Following his release from the Hawthorns, Ethan joined Colchester United, and had a short spell with Maidstone in the National League, returning to make his professional debut in a 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town. He made his full debut the week after, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win against MK Dons, before keeping a clean sheet against us on the final day.
This season, the young stopper has appeared just once in the league, keeping a clean sheet as the U’s turned over Carlisle 3-0. He also appeared in all four of their Leasing.com Trophy matches, with a clean sheet again, this time at home to a strong Ipswich side.
On his move to the Imps, Ethan said, “I’m over the moon, once I found there was interest from Lincoln, I was really excited to see what that beheld.”
“I felt like a fresh start was something I needed and jumped at the opportunity straight away, it’s a step up in league and a new challenge which is something I really wanted. I’m looking forward to kicking on and working really hard across the season and seeing where it takes me and the team.”
It appears that Ethan isn’t the only keeper we’re going to sign though, Michael Appleton has explained that someone else is going to be coming in to compete for the number one jersey.
“I’m fully aware that I won’t be the only goalkeeper at the club and I know they’re not going to bring someone in who doesn’t want to play football. I know I’m going to have to compete and fight every day. When you work with good people you can bounce off each other and learn from each other, so I’m really excited to get going and see where it takes me.”
Of his appearance at Sincil Bank last May, Ethan added; “It was brilliant, I remember walking out and seeing a big display in the Coop Stand, the 617 Squadron also in the corner made loads of noise. I remember defending the first corner and hearing the siren go off as well.”
“When you hear just under 10,000 Imps going mad it makes you feel ten-foot-tall, I can’t wait to get out there in red and white colours soon.”
Ethan is a big keeper, he has a good pedigree in terms of his upbringing and he’s young enough to be classed as potential, rather than being established. His lack of first-team action at Colchester would make me wonder if he is going to be our backup stopper, with a view to playing cup matches and challenging for the starting spot. That would be my gut feeling, but having not seen the lad play, it would be unfair to class him as a second-choice from the off.
If that is the case, it is a role he is used to, having played second fiddle to Dean Gerken at Colchester this season. He spoke in October about his role as back up, saying: “When you’re not playing, it’s not so much about yourself – it’s more about the team. If you’ve pushed the goalkeeper who’s playing and he goes out and plays well on the Saturday, it’s a win-win for everybody.
“For me, there’s a little bit more focus on training now as well, trying to show the gaffer and the management staff here what I can do every day in training.”
Ross’ arrival means that the club do now have eleven players who could form a first-team, so hopefully the ‘need a keeper’ comments can stop, even if we do still need a second keeper!