Mick McCarthy believes the fierce competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey at Wolverhampton Wanderers can only reinvigorate his side ahead of life in the Barclays Premier League.
The Wolves boss is already blessed with Wales International Wayne Hennessey and a fit-again Carl Ikeme and has just taken Marcus Hahnemann on a free transfer from Reading.
McCarthy also has experienced shot-stopper Matt Murray on his way back to fitness providing his promotion-winning side with stiff competition for the No.1 jersey.
McCarthy was delighted to secure the services of Hahnemann last month to spice up competition between the posts.
“Marcus was out of contract,” McCarthy explained. “So I rang him and I was very impressed by him just from talking to him.
“He’s already proved to be a proper bloke around the place and I know him pretty well as a keeper and have always been impressed with him.”
McCarthy is now running the rule over his new acquisition on the team’s pre-season tour of Western Australia and believes the keeper will push his current crop of stars.
“I really wanted a keeper with some experience of playing in the Premier League and who can compete with the others,” he said.
“As I said to Marcus right at the start, there are no promises to him or anyone else as to who is going to play in the team.
“But he’s happy with that – he wants to come and compete. What is nice is that I’ve got someone who has had Premier League experience and knows what it’s about.
“He’s been a Premier League player and he still has that quality.”
McCarthy is convinced experience pays when it comes to keepers.
“The best keepers in the Barclays Premier League last season were the senior ones - Brad Friedel at Villa, Mark Schwarzer at Fulham and Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United,” he said.
“They were the top stoppers for me so having Marcus here is great competition for Wayne Hennessey and Carl Ikeme.”
McCarthy has hinted Hennessey will benefit from the competition as the young Wales International was a virtual ever-present over the last half of the season because of injury to his peers.
“Wayne had great competition when Carl was fit earlier on in the season,” McCarthy said.
“Carl was excellent and really pushed him until his injury. I think you need real quality to make sure that whoever gets the nod to play in goal, has got people behind him chomping at the bit.
“Marcus will be good because of his experience. I think we have got in him a real quality one.”
n Leeds have confirmed that academy starlet Luke Garbutt has left the club to join Premier League side Everton.
The 16-year-old left-back had been linked with a move to Goodison Park in recent weeks and the Whites have now confirmed the move.
A statement said: “Leeds United made the player an exceptional offer to join the club initially as a scholar and then as a professional player.
‘‘Leeds United are entitled to compensation and will also look into the circumstances surrounding his move.”