Gary Richards | Josh Gould seeing the benefits of his hard work
Swansea City Under-23s coach Gary Richards believes goalkeeper Josh Gould has reaped the rewards of his hard work during the opening month of the Premier League 2 Division 2 season.
Gould, who signed a new one-year deal with the Swans over the summer, has been an ever-present for the development side this campaign – appearing between the sticks in all four games.
In doing so, the 22-year-old has already matched his tally for the entire 2018-19 season – during which he found himself behind the likes of Steven Benda and Gregor Zabret in the pecking order.
But with Benda and Zabret securing season-long loan moves to Swindon and Oldham respectively, the door has opened for Gould to potentially make the number one jersey his own.
Gould, who hails from Taunton, recently revealed that he received a pep talk from goalkeeping coach Martin Davies at the end of last season; advising him to make sure he hit the ground running upon returning for the start of this campaign.
He has certainly done that so far by producing a string of brilliant saves – notably earning the under-23s a point with a magnificent reach to deny Jacob Ramsey in the dying seconds of the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Landore.
And Richards believes that Gould’s hard work during the off-season has paid dividends during the early stages of the campaign.
“It’s pleasing to see Josh get his chances and doing well,” the under-23s coach said.
“He didn’t have too many opportunities last season but has worked hard every day to get better.
“Martin encouraged him to work hard over the summer ready for when he reported back for pre-season training.
“To be fair to him, he did and is now seeing the benefits of it.
“Fortunately, Gregor and Steven have been handed really good opportunities to go out on loan and that has opened the door for Josh.
“During pre-season and the opening four games, he has performed to a very good level.”