Scott Parker: Mark Travers is the first choice, despite the arrival of Freddie Woodman


SCOTT Parker insists Mark Travers remains his first-choice keeper, despite the arrival of Freddie Woodman this week.

Cherries went on hard to sign Newcastle United stopper Woodman in the summer, only for the move to fall in the 11th hour.

It’s likely the former England Under-21 international would have been the first choice, given his two years of league experience during loan spells at Swansea City.

However, the situation is now different with the 22-year-old Travers, who excelled in his first season as number one at Cherries.

The Irishman has missed just one league game this season, keeping 12 clean sheets from his 27 appearances, more than any other goalkeeper in the league.

The Cherries also have the best defensive record in the division, alongside West Bromwich Albion.

Asked if he has a first-choice goalkeeper in mind after Woodman arrived on loan this week, Parker told the Daily Echo: “Travs has the shirt at the moment.

“Travs did extremely well, incredibly well.

“But if you want to operate in and around where we operate – you look at the other teams who should or want to expect to come up automatically, those clubs have strong competition in every position.

“I certainly feel in the goalkeeper position now that we have exactly that. So good competition for Trav and obviously Fred is going to push and push.

“An extremely experienced keeper in this division who brings us great quality, so I can’t wait for him to push Trav.

“I’m looking for Trav to react in the right way, which he’s done all season.

“He’s been amazing. I see someone growing and growing and growing. So good competition there really for us.”

Discussing the attributes that have made the 24-year-old Woodman an attractive proposition in the transfer market, Parker added: “He certainly brings experience to this division. He’s played a lot of football in this division, a lot of games .

“I think his distribution is very good, his shot-stopping too. I think he’s a very good all-round goalkeeper, who is growing.

“He’s a young keeper and he’s still in his development, but probably not young in this division, really. He’s a great character.

“Everything I’ve heard about Freddie, all the references I have about him as a person, what he stands for and his values, have all been excellent.

“And I probably saw that in a very short time. So Fred is going to help us. I’m glad we have it.

While Travers is set to start against Birmingham City in the league on Wednesday night, Woodman could make his FA Cup debut against Boreham Wood on Sunday (6.30pm).


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