League One Blackpool are reportedly looking at two experienced goalkeepers ahead of the new campaign according to Alan Nixon.
Boss Neil Critchley is on the lookout for a backup stopper to Daniel Grimshaw and is weighing up a move for Wigan keeper Jamie Jones when his contract with the Latics expires at the end of the month.
34-year-old Jones made 17 appearances in all competitions for Wigan last season as they, along with the Seasiders, suffered relegation from the Championship.
Much travelled Jones, has also played for Leyton Orient, Preston, Coventry Rochdale, Colchester and Stevenage, racking up more than 400 career appearances.
According to Nixon, Blackpool will turn to another keeper with vast experience in Richard O’Donnell, should they fail to agree terms with Jones.
O’Donnell left Rochdale at the end of last season and despite enduring relegation to the National League, managed to win Dale’s player of the season award.
The 35-year-old has represented Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Walsall, Bristol City and Wigan in a career spanning 16 clubs and 450 matches.
Critchley, who returned to Bloomfield Road earlier this summer, was re-appointed just days after the club’s retained list was announced and among those to be released were keepers Chris Maxwell and Stuart Moore. Maxwell helped the club to promotion in 2021, wearing the captain’s armband and keeping a club record number of clean sheets in the process.
Grimshaw, who came through the youth ranks at Manchester City, looks set to re-establish himself at Blackpool’s number one after losing his place to Maxwell last season and amid an apparent fall out with former manager, Michael Appleton.
Blackpool were always going to be on the lookout for reinforcements in the goalkeeping department, with only one senior keeper left on the books after an exodus of players following their disappointing 2022/23 campaign.
Jamie Jones has certainly been there and done it and would bring a wealth of experience should Critchley need it.
Similarly, Richard O’Donnell also seems to fit the profile as backup to highly rated Grimshaw.
The Seasiders, have so far only made one summer signing, with Charlton midfielder Albie Morgan having joined earlier this month. Peterborough midfielder Oliver Norburn is also reportedly set to be close to moving to Bloomfield Road, as the market looks set to ignite with EFL clubs returning for pre-season training this week.
Seasiders fans are keen to see plenty of incomings as Critchley tries to recreate the feel-good factor he enjoyed in his first spell at the club. A lack of quality in Blackpool’s recruitment played a major part in their relegation last season, as the club saw bid after bid rejected for quality additions, particularly in midfield, where they were noticeably weak with a number of key players constantly on the treatment table.
Critchley certainly has the nucleus of a good squad at League One level and with some quality additions, he will be looking for at least a top-six finish.