VIDEO: Watch new Ipswich Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski in action for Notts County
- Credit: Archant
Bartosz Bialkowski can be much more than just a back-up keeper at Ipswich Town next season.
So says his former Notts County boss Chris Kiwomya after the Polish custodian signed a two-year deal at Portman Road following the agreement of an undisclosed transfer fee.
Kiwomya was in charge at Meadow Lane for nine months in 2013 and has no doubt that Bialkowski, 27, would provide stiff competition for Dean Gerken at Portman Road as Mick McCarthy aims to build on last season’s encouraging ninth-place finish in the Championship.
“He’s a good goalkeeper, a good trainer and a good lad,” enthused the former Town striker and reserve team coach. “I spoke to Mick about him last summer and he was umming and ahhing about signing him then.
“I didn’t want to lose Bart, but I was under pressure to cut the budget by a third. I’m glad he ended up staying, because he played a massive part in helping the club avoid relegation (from League One).
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“His biggest strength is his shot-stopping – he pulled off some remarkable saves last season.
“The whole time he was at Notts County he had a lot of work to do because the whole club was restructuring and we had to keep changing the defence around. I vividly remember two games against Swindon in which he made some breathtaking saves. They were ones where everyone was starting to look back to the halfway line in preparation for another kick-off because the ball seemed destined for the net.”
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Kiwomya – who is now working as a match analyst for the Premier League while waiting for the right management or coaching offer to come up – added: “I know Dean Gerken had a good season for Ipswich, but Bart would provide good competition. I’m sure if he gets his chance he will take it.
“Mick only buys players who will get along with people and add to the spirit in his squad and Bart would certainly do that. He’s a good character.”
Meanwhile, Notts County manager Shaun Derry paid tribute to his departing goalkeeper.
“Bart will say he thoroughly enjoyed his time at Notts and I enjoyed working with him,” Derry said.
“But we have to look at the bigger picture. We have to look and say was it right for all parties and I think it was.
“Bart wanted to play in the Championship and he saw an opportunity he wanted to take.
“We need to look at other options and that’s perhaps what we can do with the money that Bart’s departure brings.
“I know there will be a disappointment around losing such a good goalkeeper but I feel I can bring a good one in as well.”