Hartlepool United’s future is in safe hands – with the club’s youngest goalkeeper tipped for the top, writes Richard Mennear.
Trevor Carson and Adam Bartlett are battling for the No1 jersey, with young stopper Peter Denton making up the trio of keepers working under coach Tony Caig.
And Carson believes Denton has the attributes to “go as far as he wants” in the game.
The 18-year-old prospect became manager Ronnie Moore’s 10th summer signing and comes highly rated, with the former Birmingham City youth impressing his senior colleagues.
Injury doubt Carson, who is nursing a badly bruised toe, describes Denton as “raw” but believes he has great potential given his willingness to learn.
The trio have formed a strong bond since joining in the summer, with Moore revamping his goalkeeping options after high earner Scott Flinders left the club for York City.
And the youngest gloveman has made an instant impression.
“Pete is raw but he has all the attributes,” Carson said.
“As Caigy says, he is going to ‘build a beast’.
“He has everything, he really does, he just needs to hone his skills.
“I have seen young lads of 17 or 18 before with ability before but they are not willing to learn.
“Pete is like a sponge, he is really keen and willing.
“He takes everything in and has a great mentor in Caigy, plus me and Barts to learn from.
“We have a lot of experience from our respective careers that we can pass on to him.
“He is raw but has everything in his game and if he polishes up on a few things he can go as far as he wants.”
Carson, 27, who joined in the summer from Cheltenham Town, is a doubt for the visit of Morecambe, with Bartlett ready to start the season in goal.
With the two experienced keepers battling it out for a starting place, Denton’s chances of first team football this season are limited.
Denton, released by Championship side Rotherham United in the summer, is likely to go out on loan to a non-league side to gain first team experience.
But he would work with Pools on the training ground from Monday to Friday and would be ready to step up should anything happen to Carson or Bartlett.
Carson is a Northern Ireland international and if he is called up then Bartlett would take over in goal, so Denton would be needed on the bench.
The 6ft 3in Milton Keynes-born stopper has previously said he would “relish the opportunity to be on the bench, and if I had to come on it would be a great experience”.