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The Keeper Verdict

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 03/06/2001

IN THE FIRST of his series evaluating the pluses and minuses that came from last season Paul Holmes turns his attention to the No. 1 Jersey, where one man's role was almost above reproach

Danny Coyne

Danny Coyne

Ever-present this year and boy did he come good! Last season was by his own admission not his best but he stuck to the job and arguably kept us in Division 1. Boxing training, with local boxer Stuart Fleet, gave Coyne more confidence and in one-on-one situations he looked unbeatable. Amazingly Coyne was snubbed by Wales boss Mark Hughes, although he trained with the Welsh team in La Manga earlier in the season.

A unfortunate blunder against Blackburn (home) in front of Hughes can't have helped his claim but he picked himself up and produced several good saves. His performances against Blackburn (away) and QPR (away) were quite simply awesome, the later earning him a 10/10 rating in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. The Welsh stopper attracted interest from big teams all year and is expected to leave in the summer. The main two teams who appear to be chasing the Welshman are Bolton and Aston Villa, Notts Forest were also interested but have just signed Darren Ward. At Villa he would be expected to play second fiddle to David James. Although Coyne says that he wants to be here next season, the question is could the club turn down an offer over a £1 Million? The former Tranmere keeper ran away with the Player of the Year honours, gaining eight awards in total.

Moment of the Season: Superb performance against QPR.

Steve Croudson

Steve Croudson

Young local understudy who never made a first team appearance - had Danny Coyne not been in such form Croudson may have been No 1. Croudson made 38 appearances on the bench before dropping to No. 3 upon the loan arrival of Morten Hyldgaard. One of the many players who may leave in the summer, the 20-year-old Grimbarian deserves a chance to prove himself under Lennie Lawrence, although Lincoln boss Alan Buckley has been reported to be enquiring about taking Croudson to Sincil Bank. Former Grimsby boss Buckley highly rated Croudson when at Blundell Park and had no qualms in throwing him into big games against Wolves and Leicester. Impressed heavily with his performances in the reserves.

Moment of the Season: Ermmmm made a great save against Wrexham in the reserves

Morten Hyldgaard

Morten Hyldgaard

Giant Danish loan keeper who came in for cover towards the end of the season from Coventry City. Made several appearances on the bench but never broke into the first eleven. Amused fans in the pre-game warm ups with his inability to cross and kick, much to the frustration of Danny Coyne. Very dodgy keeper and I personally would not like to see him become a permanent signing.

Moment of the Season: Making the crowd laugh with his pathetic crossing

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