Woodley Sports`regular goalkeeper Liam Higginbotham picked up a knee injury in the first half against Mossley AFC…
…in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North clash last Tuesday evening, resulting in full-back Ben Richardson playing the second half in goal.
Despite Richardson heroics, Woodley have moved quickly to secure the services of highly-rated Blackpool goalkeeper Chris Kettings.
Talented Kettings joined the Seasiders in 2009 after moving from Manchester City’s Centre of Excellence.
He signed a professional contract in the summer of 2011.
Previously Kettings was a member of the Greater Manchester under-16 squad which won the national championship in 2009, defeating Essex in the final at the New Den.
The talented 6′ 3″ stopper has been with Blackpool for over two years now, signing a pro-contract in June.
On signing his professional deal, Kettings said: “It’s unbelievable how much they can help you because of their experience and they’ve brought me on a tremendous amount I believe.
“Last year was a big help for me, I was training alongside the likes of Matt Gilks, Paul Rachubka and Richard Kingson, players who have a lot of experience at club and international level.
“And I look at somebody like Mark Halstead, who has been on the same path as me and he came off the bench against Chelsea last season – so it does give you hope that you can get a chance in the first-team as well,” he added.
The youngster may well have been plying his trade elsewhere after he was initially told he would not be offered a further deal – only for manager Ian Holloway to intervene – an intervention he’s most grateful for. “At one point the manager was borderline whether or not I’d get a deal and in his eyes he wanted to see me for a few more weeks and see what I was capable of.
“After that period he said that I’d raised my game and he thought I was good enough so he gave me a deal, so that meant a lot to me that the gaffer stepped in for me and spoke to me personally.
“I just can’t wait for the new season to get started now, I’ve been here for four years and now the hard work really starts.”
Woodley Sports manager Matt Broadhead commented: “I remember Chris playing for the Greater Manchester side a few years back, he was absolutely first class – a real top notch ‘keeper. To say I’m delighted we have been able to bring him in at Woodley is an understatement. It shows exactly how far forward this club has come in a short space of time, that we have the back room staff & the board who can make signings like this happen.”
Kettings goes straight into the squad for Woodley’s away fixture at Salford City today.