Today’s news that Mike Pollitt has signed the one year extension offered to him by Latics is good news for the club. With John Filan off to warmer climes and a, temporary, new career as Bruce the Builder the loss of Pollitt would have been a blow to the plans of Chris Hutchings. In a time of transition, any manager needs people around that he knows he can trust and where reserves are concerned you don’t want to be taking too many risks on a keeper.
Ok, so Latics had been linked with a couple of, supposedly, decent keepers, but we’ve been stung on that front before. Carlo Nash and Dorus de Vries may have done reasonable jobs at their previous clubs but there are never any guarantees that form will travel with a player, that he’ll settle in or that he’ll adapt well to his new role as second string goalie.
I’ve often thought that the reserve keeper is the hardest position in the team to fill. You can’t keep them happy with squad rotation (or would be foolish to try) and you can’t give them the leeway to make the odd mistake here and there.
Essentially you need someone who’s good enough to play first team football at a moment’s notice, if you can find one of those then chances are that someone will want him as their first choice. Unless you’re one of the top four or lucky enough to have a bloody good youngster coming through then you’re going to struggle on that count.
With Mike Pollitt, Hutchings has a player he knows, who knows the clubs and is more than aware that the shirt isn’t his to start with. What’s more, he gets a player who he can trust to take his chance should he be presented with it and has proved that he is more than capable at this level.
Pollitt may have been tempted by the possibility of first team football elsewhere but then again he may get his fair share at Latics. Even without his injury problems, Chris Kirkland had his bad games last year and if either happen again, Polly will be waiting to pounce.
He comes across as a good lad to have around the squad. A level headed, down to earth type that hasn’t let his two years in the top flight go to his head. During the first year, there were times that he was on the bench, when he clearly should have been in between the sticks, did he sulk? No, he waited for his chance. Did he kick and moan and look for a permanent move when he was farmed out on loan? Did he heck, he went about his business and came back to close the season out.
We’ve been fortunate to have Mike Pollitt around for the last two years and Chris Hutchings will be glad that a major part of his planning for next season can now be signed off. That’s not to say that we don’t need another keeper but at least we will have time to get to know him a little better.
You’ve done a good thing Mr Pollitt, thank you for your time.
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