BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Brendan Kelly says it is up to new goalkeeper Jonathan Brown to take the No.1 jersey off Reece Francis.
Brown will be a familiar face among the Rouslers faithful as he played a vital part in the club securing the Midland League Division One title as ‘Invincibles’ two seasons ago.
At the time the shot-stopper joined on loan from Kidderminster Harriers to cover for the injured Chris Jay and made 15 appearance in all competitions, keeping nine clean sheets.
Brown, who has had loan spells at Rushall Olympic and more recently Sutton Coldfield, was made available after his contract with National League North side Harriers ended.
However, Kelly told the Standard his latest recruit would not be a guaranteed starter.
“Jono will keep Reece on his toes and it’s good to have competition in all areas of the pitch,” he said.
“But I made it clear to Jono that Reece has done nothing wrong and he is still my No.1.
“Reece performed superbly for us last year, not just in penalty shoot-outs but in the league too.
“He made crucial saves at crucial times which saved us around ten or 12 points.
“With that in mind, it is up to Jono now to try and claim that No.1 jersey.”
Kelly is hopeful of gaining the services of experienced midfielder Danny Jackman who is expected to sign forms on Thursday night.
Jackman has been training with Sporting since departing local rivals Redditch United and has impressed his soon-to-be new boss.
“Danny is a class act,” said Kelly.
“The experience he will be bring is vital as it is important to remember we have a relatively young squad with only a few players who have had experience of playing at this level.
“Richard Gregory, Harry Harris and Guy Clark have knowledge of this level so to have someone like Danny come is huge for us.”
Kelly confirmed he would still be monitoring trialists Danny Campbell, Cory Herbert, Joe Drake, Jamie Clarke and Halal Albaarini but stressed no deals had been offered to the quintet.
“Everyone is performing well but I only want to be carrying a squad of 18 to 19 players as it will be hard to keep everyone happy,” he added.
Kelly will be without striker Sean Brain who has decided to take up an opportunity with Evesham United while the future of Jason Cowley is still up in the air.
Sporting’s all-time leading scorer has been spending pre-season with National League North side AFC Telford United but Kelly is hopeful Cowley will turn out in a Rouslers shirt this season.