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Re: Phil Wilson

By Pink Panther14/5/2016 09:40Sat May 14 09:40:14 2016In response to Re: Phil Wilson

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Rob Tolfrey perhaps?

Played for Gavin & Junior's original Hamlet Aspire Academy team c.2002-4, then had a season as our regular reserve keeper before linking up with Gavin & Junior again at Beckenham Town when they very nearly beat Maidstone to the Kent League championship in 2005/6.

At the start of this season I felt Phil Wilson may be a potential weak link, as I felt we had the strongest squad in the league, but probably not the best goalkeeper. Having said that, Phil was so well established at our club, and still delivered consistently excellent performances for two thirds of the season until an abrupt loss of form as the Spring Slump kicked in.

I think a lot of people do regard Rob Tolfrey as the best keeper in our league, and he certainly saved his team from a complete humiliation on Boxing Day. Main competition could come from Hampton, who are also looking for a new keeper after relying on a sequence of loan signings from League clubs in recent months, and whose manager Alan Dowson worked with Tolfrey at Kingstonian.

A real shame to see such a great servant as Phil leave though. Our best all-round keeper since Les Cleevely, who had three seasons around the turn of the century. Very composed and totally commanded his defence. Not as mobile or adventurous at coming beyond the six yard box as some modern keepers, but you never saw defenders going for the same ball as him, or him and a defender both leaving a ball. It's hard to recall us ever conceding as a result of a misunderstanding between Phil and a teammate. And he was a massive physical presence in facing down forwards in one-on-one situations; he must have made the goal look tiny to them. I especially remember his performance in the 1-1 draw at Maidstone in November 2014 when he repeatedly denied them as we came under intensive pressure, then saved a penalty after Terrell Forbes had been sent off.

Edited by Pink Panther at 09:45:45 on 14th May 2016

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