Shropshire Star

Strength through unity in West Brom's goalkeepers’ union

Carlos Corberan believes Alex Palmer’s star displays this season are the result of the collective work of Albion’s goalkeeper department.


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Academy graduate keeper Palmer, 27, was twice drawn into key saves – including one spectacular reaction stop from a deflected Ross Stewart effort – to keep Albion level in the play-off semi-final tie against Southampton.

That fine display came just a couple of days after Palmer was handed the joint-Championship golden glove award for the most clean sheets – 18 in the regular campaign, shared with Leeds’ Illan Meslier.

Asked about Palmer’s vital interventions, boss Corberan instead focused on the work of Albion’s collective, including back-up Josh Griffiths, third-choice Ted Cann and goalkeeper coach Marcos Abad, formerly of Leeds who was brought in last summer.

“I didn’t know, but this week I saw we had received the golden glove award and for me this is the consequence of an unbelievable work from him, from Josh Griffiths, from Ted (Cann) and Marcos Abad,” Corberan said.

“I think these four people – my goalkeeper coach and three goalkeepers – have created a level of togetherness that is difficult to find in many clubs in your career.”

Corberan recruited Abad, 38, last summer after it was decided Gary Walsh, who came to Albion in January 2019 under Darren Moore, would leave the club. Abad had previously worked at Elland Road for six years and briefly at Middlesbrough in the same role. The Baggies head coach revealed an anecdote in which Abad showed him video footage of Albion’s deputy goalkeepers Griffiths, 22, and Cann, 23, celebrating work of Palmer’s in training as if it was their own.

Palmer has spoken highly of working with Abad over the course of the campaign.

“I talked today with Marcos, he showed me a video, they were working in a situation when they prepare for crosses teams make,” added Corberan.

“I watched videos of the celebration of Josh Griffiths and Ted, when Alex was making the saves in training, they were feeling that Alex’s save was their save. The level of togetherness and quality work these four people have created together is outstanding too.”

Highly-regarded England youth international goalkeeper Griffiths has been on the radar of other clubs during his time among the Albion senior ranks and has not played a minute of Championship football this term with Palmer dominating between the sticks.

The Hereford-born shot-stopper boast more than 100 games of experience having made several EFL loans and made 10 league appearances for Albion last term. His outings this season were limited to cup games against Stoke, Aldershot and Wolves.

Cann is one of 11 senior players out of contract this summer. He has had loan spells at Worcester City, AFC Telford United, Yeovil Town and Leamington but has not been away on loan this term.

Other highly-rated young goalkeepers in Albion ranks are Ronnie Hollingshead, 19, who enjoyed an extremely impressive loan at Alvechurch this season, as well as England youth starlet Ben Cisse, the West Bromwich-born 18-year-old who recently penned a first professional two-year deal.