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Former Birmingham City midfielder praises impact of West Brom goalkeeping starlet

Alvechurch head coach James Fry believes West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Brad Foster has been ‘outstanding’ since joining the Southern Premier Division Central club on loan.

Foster penned his temporary switch to the Church in October, becoming the third player in the squad to have West Brom links along with Nick Clayton-Phillips and Mackenzie Lamb.

The shot-stopper kept two clean sheets in his first two games against Anstey Nomads and Stamford, and head coach Fry has been delighted with his showings since signing.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” Fry said.

“On and off the pitch he’s come under a lot of pressure at times when we’ve been a man down and he’s pulled out some unbelievable saves.

“The way he marshals his box during those latter stages, he takes the pressure off his defenders and that’s been amazing.

“He’s got all the attributes to be a top goalkeeper and thankfully he’s kept his performances up to that standard.

“We’re very grateful to have him in the side and to West Brom for allowing us to have him.”

The 22-year-old had his initial Lye Meadow stay extended until January 28 2024, but Fry won’t rule out another extension to the deal.

“Brad has shown us what a good goalkeeper he is,” Fry said.

“Nothing’s set in stone, we’d love to have him for the rest of the season, of course we would. It’ll be a discussion as to what’s best for Brad.

“For us, we want to keep him for the rest of the season, but he’s contracted at West Brom and they will want certain things from him.

“Definitely, over the next coming weeks and months, we’ll do our best to keep him because he’s been outstanding for us.”

Head coach Fry took over in late September following the departure of former boss Ian Long and has seen a mixed bag of results since his arrival.

Despite only seeing his side rise to 17th in the division, the former Birmingham City midfielder believes that his side have plenty to be pleased with.

“I think we’ve done well,” Fry said.

“We started incredibly well with three wins on the bounce and clean sheets, we’ve been on the wrong side of the odd goal on a few occasions.

“Our performance levels have been great and I’m confident that going forward we can maintain those performances and we can continue to see those decisions go in our favour.

“We’ll start picking up those points soon enough.”

Alvechurch are up against Coalville Town in the Southern Premier Division Central on Tuesday, December 5, with them looking to put a run of five successive games without a win behind them.

And Fry believes their defensive resilience will be key as the fixtures begin to pile up heading into the festive period.

“`It doesn’t matter where you are in the league, it’s always important to get those points, especially at home, we’ve only lost once at home since I joined.

“Our home record is decent and we’ll be looking to carry on with that.

“We’ve kept some good clean sheets, we’ve been conceding one a game since I came in which is a step forward for this group.”

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