Why Ryan Coulter can improve the Longford Town squad
As Longford Town FC continue to fight for their status as a Premier Division club, the Midlanders made their first signing of the July transfer earlier today with goalkeeper Ryan Coulter putting pen to paper at the City Calling Stadium. Having being caught up in the on going debacle at local rivals Athlone Town, Coulter walked away from Lissywoolen last month and it hasn't taken the former Sligo Rovers man long to find a new employer. Despite the fact Longford fans have been crying out for new blood in the squad for a number of months now, the announcement of Coulter's arrival at the club has been met with what can only be described as a mute reaction across social media. Given Coulter's disastrous spell at the Showgrounds where he only managed seven first-team appearances prior to being shown the exit door you can understand why Town fans may not be over enamored with their new signing, however, one must remember Coulter's excellent end of season form with Athlone Town in 2014. Despite ultimately ending in relegation under current Bohemians boss Keith Long, Coulter was in inspired form as he took the number one jersey from none other than Paul Skinner before delivering a string of unbelievable performances as Athlone suffered relegation on the final day of the campaign.
Having signed a new goalkeeper in pre-season, Town boss Tony Cousins probably didn't imagine he would be in the market for another shot-stopper this season, however, former Leeds United academy 'keeper Ian Molloy has failed to adjust to the step up into senior football and the arrival of Coulter will now offer Cousins an experienced second choice from the substitutes bench. As already mentioned, Coulter has proved in the past he is more than capable of wrestling the number one position away from Skinner and that should see the former Shelbourne man step up his performances, which too be fair have been very good in recent weeks. With Ian Molloy still in the very early stages of his senior career he may also benefit from having a goalkeeper that was a full-time professional just last season around him.
Critics of Tony Cousins will point to obvious weaknesses in other positions across the field that need immediate addressing, however, there can be no doubting that an experienced second choice goalkeeper was required at the club and that is exactly what Cousins has acquired. It will now be up to Coulter to prove any critics wrong if and when his opportunity comes between the sticks and with "De Town" still involved in the FAI Cup he should get his chance to shine.