Looking Closer To Home
With Lawrence Vigouroux back at Liverpool, Steven Fyfe puts the case for Tyrell Belford becoming number one
Swindon Town are now in a situation where they have to look to the emergency window to add a new goalkeeper after Liverpool terminated the season-long loan of Lawrence Vigouroux. Issues were first evident after the former Spurs ‘keeper was dropped to the bench for the loss to Colchester, Mark Cooper claiming afterwards it was an internal discipline issue. Reports then surfaced that Vigouroux was late for training (not all it seems he was late with). The Daily Mail have since suggested that Vigouroux was then late paying the £50 fine and when he did it was in pennies.
Until a successor is found Tyrell Belford will be our number one and although not a popular choice, it is one that we as fans need to get behind. Belford has a massive opportunity now to stake a claim, and I for one hope he does, and believe he can and will.
Why do I believe this? First and foremost is his mentality. He does not lack confidence or self belief. Secondly, his commitment. Over the summer he has clearly worked on his physical presence. His determination to improve cannot be questioned with the understanding he allowed himself a single weeks holiday during the close season.
Following on from his mentality is his pedigree. A former Liverpool youth-team player he clearly has some potential and quality. In 2010/11 he played in the Liverpool side that finished second to Everton. Both he and former Swindon youth teamer Jamie Stephens played fourteen games that season. They featured in the same team as future Premier League stars Raheem Sterling, John Flanagan, Andre Wisdom and Thomas Ince. Also in that squad were the likes of Michael Ngoo and Brad Smith. The following season he established himself, making more appearance than Stephens in a squad that continued to deliver quality with the likes of Jordan Ibe and Jordan Williams. That side would finish third behind Blackburn and Man City. He was commended at Liverpool for his shot-stopping ability and communication skills.
At Swindon we have a great approach to breeding youngsters. In Steve Hale we have an excellent goalkeeping coach who will unlock Belford’s potential. He also has keeping in his blood. His brother (and former Swindon player) Cameron Belford is also a goalkeeper as his dad who is still playing semi-professional as well as coaching. Ty also has youth international experience as he represented England at U16 and U17 level.
My final reason is purely because he nice guy who I hope makes it. Belford is always engaging with fans before and after games. He has not once complained about being back up and just wants to improve. Belford was also fundamental in getting a collection set up for injured Swindon Robins rider Darcey Ward.
He is one of Swindon’s longest serving players having joined in the summer of 2013. Belford made his debut against Plymouth in the Johnstone‘s Paint Trophy, helping Swindon to the area final with two penalty saves in the area semi versus Stevenage. He made his league debut versus Leyton Orient in February 2014 and managed four appearances last season.
When called upon this season, Belford was part of the side that beat Newport in penalties in the Johnstone‘s Paint Trophy and Saturday’s defeat.
The search will be extensive as we hope Lee Power and Cooper find another Wes Foderingham or Fraser Digby but maybe, just maybe, the answer is a little bit closer to home. Maybe Ty will never be the next Digby or Foderingham, but maybe if giving the right support he can be the first Tyrell Belford.