Paul Hurst wants Shrewsbury Town goalkeeping competition for Jayson Leutwiler
Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst is hunting for competition for Jayson Leutwiler after admitting Town’s young shot-stoppers are not ready for regular first-team action.
Back-up keeper Mark Halstead left at the start of May, while one of the club’s highly-rated youngsters, Shaun Rowley, is mulling over a contract offer.
Hurst has another burgeoning local talent on his hands in Callum Burton, who still has another year running on his Town contract.
But the Town boss is searching for a glovesman to rival last season’s No.1 Leutwiler, 28, and provide competition for the 2017/18 campaign.
“I’ll be looking for a keeper and we’ll see how that goes, but I want competition, which I’ve said from the start,” said Hurst.
“Competition increased through the January transfer window and we’re looking to step that up further to give us the best chance of having a successful season.”
Shrewsbury were linked with keepers James McKeown and Dean Henderson in January.
Both were then of Grimsby Town, though Henderson has since returned to parent club Manchester United and McKeown is understood not to have been contacted by Town.
Rowley, 21 – along with Mat Sadler and Bryn Morris – was offered fresh terms by Hurst 17 days ago and under league regulations players have 28 days to respond to contract offers.
He enjoyed two successful non-league loans spells last season, with Chorley and Slough Town. Burton, 20, spent some time at AFC Telford towards the end of the campaign.
“In an honest assessment I’d say they’re probably not ready to play first-team football, certainly for a number of games,” added Hurst. “But sometimes you never know until they’re thrown in. Sometimes circumstances dictate and then it’s sink or swim time.
“I think there’s enough people that have gone on to have careers that have made their debut due to a circumstance, rather than their manager thinking ‘he’s absolutely ready and will do superbly well’.”