FA ruling ends City keeper's loan move

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 14 September 2010

Canaries teenager keeper Joe Lewis has been denied a chance of valuable first team experience with League Two side Bury. Lewis, 19, had a loan at Gigg Lane, where manager Chris Casper was keen to take him on a loan spell.

Canaries teenager keeper Joe Lewis has been denied a chance of valuable first team experience with League Two side Bury.

Lewis, 19, had a loan at Gigg Lane, where manager Chris Casper was keen to take him on a loan spell. It was an arrangement that sat well with Canaries boss Peter Grant, who was keen for the Broome youngster to get first team games under his belt.

But the loan move has had to be scrapped because of an FA ruling.

Casper wanted Lewis to act as cover for Aaron Grundy for last night's FA Cup first round replay against Weymouth. But FA rules state that players signed between the first tie and the replay are ineligible - which ruled Lewis out of his plans.

“It's possibly the worst rule I have ever known,” said Casper. “Why we should get punished when there is another game in between the two cup games I don't know. We could get injuries and I have been told that if we got an injury to Aaron Grundy then we would have to play an outfield player, which is an absolute farce.

“I can understand why the rule is there, but there must be some special dispensations because I can't afford to carry a big squad.”

A loan move would have been perfect for Lewis, particularly as the subject of goalkeepers has reared its head at Carrow Road again.

Grant has lost the services of Jamie Ashdown, who has opted to return to Pompey following a one-month loan spell in which he played just two games.

That means the only realistic cover for number one choice Paul Gallacher is Lee Camp, who is at Norwich on a three-month loan deal from Derby County but was recently told by Grant, whose deal ends on December 9, that he could find himself another club if he wanted to.

The deadline for Grant to make any more loan signings is 5pm tomorrow - and if he is unsuccessful it could mean he goes into the Christmas period with just two keepers on his books - Gallacher and rookie Lewis.

There is also the issue of whether or not he wants - or is able - to add to a squad which is thin on paper and which, judging by Sunday's 3-1 surrender at Ipswich, is thin on quality.

“The door is, of course, always open and we have until Thursday. If there is a player that I believe would improve the squad available over the next 24-48 hours then that is something we would look at,” said Grant.

“But I won't be making a signing just for the sake of it.

“I'd love to get someone in but we have to do that by Thursday or that's it until Christmas and we'll have to go with what we have.

“Every manager is trying to do the same, but a lot of clubs have Champions League or other European games coming up and they don't want to let people go.”

Existing loan signings whose spells are about to run out must be re-registered by tomorrow, after which loans between then and the January transfer window will only be allowed if there are extenuating circumstances, such as a goalkeeping emergency.

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