Seagulls in safe hands with keeper attracting Football League interest

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 September 2019

Niall Maher. Picture: Will.T.Photography

Niall Maher. Picture: Will.T.Photography

Archant

Weston are in safe hands with stand-in keeper Niall Maher while Luke Purnell recovers from injury, according to manager Scott Bartlett.

The Seagulls boss has been impressed with the 20-year-old, who moved to BS24 in the summer after a spells with Morecambe and Stourbridge.

Maher has kept three clean sheets in three games since replacing Purnell, who endured an injury-hit pre-season and has been sidelined since the draw with Poole Town on August 24 with a shoulder complaint.

And Bartlett is delighted with the impact the Birmingham-born keeper has made since coming in for the Seagulls' longest-serving player.

He said: "Luke's probably the best keeper in this league and the league above. He could play in League Two if given an opportunity, but Niall has been fantastic and it's enabled us to not rush Luke back.

"He's done really well. He's got loads to learn, but there isn't a better keeper than him at the level if we have to lose Luke for a little while."

Bartlett believes Maher, who is set to continue his starting stint as the Seagulls return to Southern League action at Walton Casuals tomorrow (Saturday), has a bright future ahead.

"He's already attracted interest from the Football League since he's been with us," Bartlett said.

"We've told Niall we will try to help him get to a pro club, which is where we think he will end up. He's very young still, but it's working well for us and him at the moment."


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