'Tomas has been excellent but there are things he needs to work on' - coach Walker on Holy's pre-season progress
PUBLISHED: 12:15 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 31 July 2019
Ipswich Town goalkeeper Tomas Holy has been backed to make the grade at Portman Road by coach Jimmy Walker.
The Czech stopper, who moved to Portman Road on a free transfer after leaving Gillingham, is a likely starter on opening day at Burton but now real faces added competition from loanee Will Norris following his arrival from Wolves, in the wake of Bartosz Bialkowski's move to Millwall.
Walker has been impressed with what he's seen from Holy but knows his new goalkeeper has work to do if he is to establish himself as the club's No.1.
"I've never known a man who wants to collect balls so much," Walker joked during a club interview. "I've had to tell him off and to stop doing it.
"I liken him to a big goalkeeping dog because when the ball goes off he just goes off to get it.
"But he's been great, he's fitted in really well and when you're new into the group like he is then pre-season trips like this are brilliant for bonding with everyone and getting to know people's personalities.
"He's settled in with the lads and everyone gets on.
"On the goalkeeping side Tomas has been excellent. I watched him a lot last season and liked what I saw, although there are some bits I know he needs to work on.
"He's working really hard on them and he's ahead of where I wanted him to be at this stage so there's plenty more to come from him."
Holy stands 6ft 9inches tall, with Walker impressed with how the goalkeeper uses his height and wanting him to make more of his advantage in equal measure.
"You can get a big goalkeeper who can't move so well and can't use that height so you lose that presence, but some of the things I saw Tomas do last season were really good and some things made me think he didn't use that height, reach and presence enough," Walker said.
"A lot of the work we have done has been on his balance because he's got such a big frame to shift about and we've been working on footwork and foot placements and where he is when he steps in to make the save.
"If we can fine tweak that kind of thing, after playing 90 or 100 games in League One in the last two seasons, that will be great.
"He didn't have a full-time, dedicated goalkeeping coach, although he did have one down there who helped him, and I think if we can get those final tweaks in his game then we could have a very good goalkeeper."