Express & Star

West Brom's young keeper Ronnie Hollingshead inspired by graduates Alex Palmer and Josh Griffiths

Albion prospect Ronnie Hollingshead admits fellow goalkeepers Alex Palmer and Josh Griffiths act as first-team inspiration.


The 18-year-old Wales youth international penned a first professional contract in January having risen through the Baggies youth ranks, which he first joined aged 10.

Hollingshead is well thought of at The Hawthorns and played 10 PL2 fixtures for Richard Beale’s under-21s this season, as well as a first sample of senior football on loan at non-league Hednesford Town.

He works closely with academy goalkeeper coach Boaz Myhill, the former Baggies and Wales shot-stopper, and admits seeing Palmer, 26, and Griffiths, 21, excel in first-team colours is a motivator.

Hollingshead said: “The role models like you’ve got obviously Josh, you’ve got Palms, there’s loads of examples that have gone on to do well.

“Yeah, (it’s) a bit more real, if you know what I mean.

“If they can do it, I can as well, 100 per cent. That’s what the end goal is, isn’t it really? First-team football anywhere really, but here preferably, that’s the end goal, that’s what we all want to achieve.”

Hollingshead is a regular fixture in the Wales under-18 set-up, the same nation for whom coach Myhill, 40, won 19 senior caps between 2008 and 2013.

“His building from the back, composure and mentality during games has been a real standout positive since he’s been at the club,” Myhill said of the teen.

“The way kids are brought through the academy now, they’ve all got massive understandings of not just their roles, but all the roles on the team.

“Even in the education programme we run, he’s a bit of a leader in that, which is what you want. We want him to be not only interested in the football part of his scholarship and career, but there’s lots of other facets.”

Hollingshead revealed he has a positive working relationship with compatriot Myhill, whose official title is professional phase development goalkeeping coach.

The keeper added: “He’s got that good balance of knowing when to work and when to have a laugh and stuff, which is really good.

“Obviously him playing himself, he’s got that experience, when you’re doing a set (of drills) he can make you laugh, I’d rather that, we’ve got a really good relationship.”