Express & Star

Walsall strike Stoke loan for hometown goalkeeper Tommy Simkin

Stoke goalkeeper Tommy Simkin has arrived on loan at hometown club Walsall.


Highly-rated shot-stopper Simkin, 19, is a one-cap England under-20 international and has bolstered head coach Mat Sadler’s keeper ranks.

With a contract offer still on the table for Jackson Smith, Simkin’s arrival comes as a timely boost as the Saddlers step up pre-season training.

Simkin said: “It’s class. I am a local lad and I think it is brilliant to come to this football club and try and play as many games as I can.”

Simkin joined Stoke as a right-back earlier in his teens but played as an emergency goalkeeper as a 14-year-old and did so well he continued in the role.

Former Walsall keeper Owen Evans, who was released at the end of last season after two years at the club, has rejoined League Two rivals Cheltenham.

Simkin made his Potters debut and so-far sole senior appearance for his parent club in a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last December.

He has previously had loan spells at non-league AFC Fylde, where he didn’t feature, a 19-game spell at Solihull Moors in the National League last term and one game at Forest Green Rovers in League Two afterwards.

Boss Sadler said: “He is a lad who had an incredible pedigree having gone through all of the England age groups and he had a fantastic loan with Solihull Moors last season.

“He is somebody who I have been aware of over the last 12 months because of the local connections that we have and I am really pleased to have got it over the line.

“He is a Walsall boy with family and friends who are massive fans of the club so to have another one in the group will only benefit us I feel.

“We’d like to thank Stoke as well for the work they have put in to make this deal happen, they have been great.

“We have got a really good relationship with them and we look forward to continuing to build up on that in the future.”