Whichever goalkeeper you prefer, there is no doubt that Notts County have two very capable players in contention for the number 1 jersey in Adam Collin and Ross Fitzsimons, the debate on who should start has valid points for both keepers.
However, I aim to explain the difference between the two and who I feel should be the first choice keeper for the Magpies.
The knee injury to Collin during the 2-1 win over Barnet within League Two saw Fitzsimons step into the main role and during a heavy spell of pressure, he made several outstanding saves which kept Notts in the game.
This was the first time that I had seen Fitzsimons in action and I was genuinely impressed with his reactions, as the game was played largely on the back foot for Notts after Collin was substituted.
If he'd been on the field for longer, I would easily have considered him as one of the key candidates for Man of the Match.
And I thought if this was the standard he set, well I really couldn’t see how Collin could force his way back into Kevin Nolan’s squad at all.
Yet I wanted to write about this subject, but only after having enough time to fairly judge what Fitzsimons brings to the table.
Fans who feel that the two keepers are like-for-like are wrong in my opinion, I feel Collin’s experience and age makes him a more polished keeper at this level.
However, I certainly see the potential within Fitzsimons and I think overall he’s the much better shot stopper.
That said, I disagree that he is better currently and I feel he’s lacking the understanding with the back four that Collin has established over the course of this and last season.
I can fully understand why Nolan prefers Collin in goal, but being an unpopular figure at Meadow lane I don’t expect many other fans to give him the credit he deserves.
There’s still time however for Fitzsimons to establish himself further, all depending on when Collin returns to action.
It is quite possible that we might not see him for a few more months - I believe he was expected to be out for a minimum of 8 weeks which has recently passed.
And there is still little news coming out regarding how serious his knee ligament damage is.
If Fitzsimons can work on his consistency - as the past few games I feel he’s been quite shaky and I would also say he has shined as much between the sticks as I assumed he would have done - there might be a chance he will retain the position even after Collin’s return to match selection, but I don’t think this is all that likely considering.
Collin is more experienced, he’s switched on and alert. This season alone he seems a much different character than he was in his debut season and I think the weaknesses such as his communication have largely been worked on.
He seems more confident which I imagine can be hard when the Notts defence switches off, but again we have two capable keepers and the prospect of Fitzsimons is one I feel will only grow in strength during the coming games.
I would also like to point out that the position is the most scrutinized positon on the pitch, with fans perhaps being unforgiving of minor mistakes.
Fitzsimons has a valuable learning experience and I do feel he will take it, it just may take some time for him to establish the position for his own.