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Dealing with crosses, getting down low and throwing it over the halfway line - the lowdown on new Ipswich keeper Holy

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 June 2019

Tomas Holy will join Ipswich Town when his Gillingham contract ends. Picture: PA/ITFC

Tomas Holy will join Ipswich Town when his Gillingham contract ends. Picture: PA/ITFC

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We get the lowdown on incoming Ipswich goalkeeper Tomas Holy from his former Gillingham goalkeeping coach, Scott Chalmers-Stevens.

Ipswich Town will sign goalkeeper Tomas Holy from Gillingham when his contract ends. Picture: PAIpswich Town will sign goalkeeper Tomas Holy from Gillingham when his contract ends. Picture: PA

New Ipswich Town goalkeeper Tomas Holy has been backed to quickly become a fans' favourite at Portman Road.

The Czech stopper will join the Blues when his Gillingham contract expires at the end of this month, with his former goalkeeping coach Scott Chalmers-Stevens convinced the 27-year-old will be a success.

The pair worked together for a season at Priestfield, with Chalmers-Stevens initially surprised by just how good the 6ft 9inch stopper was.

Looks can be deceiving

Goalkeeper Tomas Holy will sign a two-year deal with Ipswich Town when his contract at Gillingham expires next month. Photo: Ipswich Town FCGoalkeeper Tomas Holy will sign a two-year deal with Ipswich Town when his contract at Gillingham expires next month. Photo: Ipswich Town FC

"I thought someone of his size might struggle with mobility and getting down low, but he's surprisingly agile," Chalmers-Stevens said.

"Other people told me at the time that his kicking was an area that could be improved.

MORE: New signing Holy is one of the world's goalkeeping giants... but he's not the tallest stopper on the planet

"But he moves really well for a big fella, can get around the goal, has a great work rate and always wants to do extra."

Gillingham's goalkeeping unit of Tomas Holy, Scott Chalmers-Stevens and Tom Hadler. Picture: Scott Chalmers-StevensGillingham's goalkeeping unit of Tomas Holy, Scott Chalmers-Stevens and Tom Hadler. Picture: Scott Chalmers-Stevens

Holy's strengths

"Dealing with crosses is his main thing and he's been outstanding this season," Chalmers-Stevens said.

"There was one ball he came and caught at Peterborough which no goalkeeper in the world really has any right to come and get.

"Anything in the box, he deals with and he commands his area really well. His English is good and he's a good communicator.

Scott Chalmers-Stevens, Tom Hadler and Tomas Holy work with the ball at feet in training. Picture: Scott Chalmers-StevensScott Chalmers-Stevens, Tom Hadler and Tomas Holy work with the ball at feet in training. Picture: Scott Chalmers-Stevens

"I think he'll be a fans favourite at Ipswich once they get to know him because he's great with the supporters and a good guy."

Distribution

Training sessions saw the pair regular work on Holy's kicking, with Chalmers-Stevens pleased with how the former Sparta Prague man improved over the course of the campaign.

MORE: 'It feels the right time to take up a new challenge' - keeper Holy signs two-year deal at Town

"We've done a lot of work on his run-up," he said.

"To be 6ft 9inch and to try and incorporate all of that into one action is really difficult but we have worked hard to make that more consistent.

"He can boot it a mile but it's all about trying to make it more consistent and finding good areas.

"Tomas surprised me with how good he is with his feet and it wouldn't surprise me if you saw a chop (taking the ball round a striker) early on because he's confident with both feet.

"He can throw it over the halfway line as well so if he can catch a ball on the edge of his box he can start an attack quickly."

The future

The move to Ipswich will see Holy remain in League One for a third-successive season, but Chalmers-Stevens believes his former protégé can play higher up the football pyramid.

MORE: 'Top six all season has to be the target' - Ipswich Town legend Milton says League One expectations have to be high

"He has aspirations of playing even higher than League One so Ipswich could just be a stepping stone, really," he said.

"He could go and play another 100 games and then potentially move on again because he's at a good age now for a goalkeeper.

"Obviously if Ipswich get up into the Championship that would be a great progression for him."

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