Date: 5th July 2014 at 10:55am
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Wimbledon now have three ‘keeps fighting it out to be the no.1 at Kingsmeadow, however at this season realistically only one of the new signings should be competing with Ross Worner.

Neal Ardley made a double ‘keeper signing of James Shea and Joe McDonnell on Thursday with the pair expected to have varying degrees of first-team involvement this coming season but both have come to the club in the anticipation that they will be more than capable of being the first-choice ‘keeper at some stage.

23-year-old Shea will be the one putting most pressure on Worner this season with him coming in from Harrow Borough on the recommendation of former Dons boss Dave Anderson, with him impressing during training last season and a behind closed doors game.

Ardley was delighted to sign him ahead of other interested clubs, telling the official website: ‘James has been brought in to compete with Ross Worner for the number one jersey.

‘Dave Anderson has regularly said that James is the best goalkeeper he’s seen so we had him in for training three or four times last season. He played in a behind closed doors match for us and really impressed.

‘James won the Player of the Year award last season at Harrow and four or five clubs tried to get him in on trial.’

McDonnell was a Basingstoke Town youth graduate, spending time on loan with Hendon too with Ardley impressed by him with him also known to Dons coach Ashley Bayes and his impressive performance playing for the U21 side last season.

The 20-year-old will be part of the U21 squad this season as he continues his development, he added: ‘Joe came in and played Under-21 games for us last season and he knows Ashley Bayes, who was at Basingstoke previously.

‘Joe was outstanding in a match for the Under-21s against Charlton last season and it was one of the best goalkeeping performances that I had seen. He came in and trained regularly with us last season and looked like a first-team goalkeeper. We are out there recruiting and we felt that if we did not get Joe and start trying to develop him then someone else would.

‘We are delighted that he has come in to be a part of our Under-21 set-up for next season.’

Beyond these three we can’t forget young Billy Bishop, so this leaves the club in a very good position with ‘keepers with Bayes plenty to work with to leave the club quite literally in ‘safe hands’….

Worner might be expected to be the no.1 but Ardley insists that this isn’t the case with pre-season to determine if it’s him or Shea that starts the season between the sticks, who do you think it will be?

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