ANOTHER piece of the Bury jigsaw fell into place on Thursday night when manager David Flitcroft signed former Bournemouth goalkeeper Shwan Jalal on a free transfer.
The Shakers boss revealed he had been tracking the 30-year-old Iraq-born stopper for some time as he bid to recruit a number one equipped with the distribution skills he craved.
“It was important for me to find someone like Shwan who understands the passing style of football I want to play and the sort of qualities I am after in a goalkeeper,” he said.
“His distribution skills are top draw and that will help the whole team play out from the back.
“He understands what weight of pass I want to see and the sort of angle of passing, which was key for me.” Jalal arrives at the JD Stadium on a two year contract after playing almost 300 games for the Cherries.
He made his name at Tottenham as a youngster and also had spells at Woking, Peterborough United, Morecambe and Oxford United.
He played a big part in the Cherries’ rise from League Two to the Championship but made just two first-team appearances last season, in a loan spell at Leyton Orient.
“The time was right for Shwan to make the move here,” added Flitcroft.
“He has played behind some good keepers under Eddie Howe at Bournemouth but he is nearing the prime age for a goalkeeper and he is ready to lead.
“The fact he was eager to make the move up from the south coast and really bought into what we are trying to do here was also key for me.”
Flitcroft also revealed that former Wanderers stopper Rob Lainton would be his number two keeper next season after confirming 20-year-old stopper Reice Charles Cook had turned down a new deal.
“We had a really good development pathway mapped out for Reice that would have included him possibly playing abroad in Ireland, but we only offered him a six-month deal,” said the Bury boss.
“I felt it was important that we kept him hungry, but I understand his agent feels he is able to get him a better package elsewhere, which I completely understand and I wish him well.”