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POTW: Keeper

By: Richard Lord
Date: 05/04/2001

Every week from now until the end of the season, The Fishy's Richard Lord and Richard Hubbert will be reviewing Grimsby's rollercoaster season position by position. This week they look at the goalkeeping berth, which has been occupied exclusively by one player.

The season has been dominated by Danny Coyne. Since the beginning of the season the Town number one has yet to miss a minute of a single game (and has yet to have a poor performance)! Often made to wear that ridiculous lemon jersey, this factor has obviously not affected his performances.

Grimsby may currently be languishing near the relegation zone, but the Welshman can be pleased with his personal performances this season. With the departure of Alan Buckley after just two games (and the arrival of Lennie Lawrence), coaching lessons were taken up by the keeper as well as the art of boxing, which together have enhanced his ability.

Very few Town supporters can grumble or have any complaints of the ex-Tranmere goalkeeper. Coyne has consistently shown an typical performance involves at least a couple of breathtaking saves. Originally signed by Buckley on a free transfer, Coyne has become one of the division's top keepers, with a number of clubs including Bolton, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa all reported to be expressing an interest in the 27 year old.

Despite keeping just 9 clean sheets in the 45 games so far this season, he is still highly regarded at the club. Performances such as the ones at Blackburn, QPR and Crystal Palace leave many Mariners scratching their heads and wondering why he isn't featuring in the Wales national team.

Coyne probably excelled most in the game in front of the biggest crowd of the season in the 2-2 draw at Bolton, where he made a string of fine saves to deny the Trotters. The Bolton performance was equalled by the Welsh keeper's superb display in the 1-0 win at Loftus Road against QPR, where everything Rangers threw at Coyne was saved - many spectacularly. It might not be such a surprise to learn then, that at the time of writing, he currently stands second in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph's league form player ratings guide!

There is no doubt that his saves alone have won matches, performing well in particular in front of the Sky cameras against West Brom. Acting the part of Town's saviour is something Coyne has quickly found routine, and has arguably become one of Town's best keepers in recent times.

With just a year left on his contract, Coyne may depart in the summer if the Grimsby board are tempted to cash in on probably the squad's most valuable player. Where ever he is next year it will be a long time before Grimsby fans forget the contribution of the Welshman to the 2000-2001 season.

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