JAY Lynch is not going to let his perceived lack of stature prevent him from hitting the heights at Wanderers.
Despite standing on the small side for a conventional goalkeeper at a shade under six feet, the highly-rated young stopper has forced his way into the first team set-up over the last 12 months with his performances for the development squad.
Although the purists could point to his lack of height as a hindrance, there are plenty of modern examples to follow if Lynch is to continue an impressive start to his fledgling career.
“I grew up watching Peter Schmeichel but now I tend to look to the keepers who are slightly smaller, but more agile, like Pepe Reina, Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes,” he said. “I try to model myself on them because I’m not blessed with great height so I know I have to work on other areas of my game, such as my agility to keep the ball out of the net.”
Wanderers’ record appearance maker Eddie Hopkinson stood at just 5ft 10ins, so Lynch is in good company, and after taking advantage of recent injuries to Andy Lonergan and fellow youth product Rob Lainton, the 19-year-old has been close to making his own senior debut.
The Mancunian was on the bench for seven games before Lonergan’s return from a knee problem and reckons the experience is driving him on to become a better goalkeeper.
“At the drop of the hat everything can change and you’ve got to be ready to go on,” he said. “When we were away at Wolves last month Adam (Bogdan) was struggling with his shoulder and I started to warm up. I was expecting the nerves to kick in at that point but I was a bit shocked at how calm I was. “But being in the first team squad and being named as a sub is massive for a 19-year-old goalkeeper, especially when goalkeepers traditionally mature a bit later. “I started training with the first team part-way through last season and the training is great because goalkeepers feed off each other.
“We’re lucky at Bolton in that there are some fantastic goalkeepers.
“Adam’s a fantastic keeper, then there’s Andy Lonergan and Rob Lainton as well, so competition for places here at Bolton is great. All of the goalkeepers help one another.
“That is important for me because I still have a lot to learn, but when you’re training with these guys regularly you can only improve.”