Keepers in focus for injury-hit Canaries with Scotland U19 prospect in the mix ahead of Villa clash
PUBLISHED: 09:01 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 02 October 2019
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It’s set to be a tale of two Norwich City goalkeepers at very different stages of their careers when the Canaries entertain Aston Villa on Saturday.
Veteran keeper Michael McGovern is poised to start for Daniel Farke's injury-ravaged side, having emerged from the shadows to make his Premier League debut at 35 years old.
That's due to injuries for front-line keepers Tim Krul and Ralf Fahrmann, which means that Scotland Under-19 international Archie Mair could be named as a substitute at Carrow Road.
The 18-year-old was signed from Aberdeen this summer and has been first choice for City's under-23 squad this season - but was left out of last night's EFL Trophy group stage win over League Two side Crawley Town.
It's understood Mair is training with the first team as a precaution, in case Fahrmann's groin injury prevents him providing emergency cover for McGovern - who was close to leaving City after limited involvement, before signing a two-year deal in April.
"I'm 35 now, I don't feel it, but I am. It's another goal ticked off for my career," the former Hamilton and Ross County keeper said after coming on in the 22nd minute of the 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace in the top flight on Saturday.
"I was a late developer in football in that I was at Celtic for seven years, didn't really get first-team football until I was 25.
"Everything sort of came to me later in my career, I've had to work for everything, had to be patient."
McGovern is set to keep his place in the Northern Ireland squad during the international break - although club-mate Jamal Lewis is a doubt for City's home clash with Villa due to an elbow injury picked up during the loss at Palace, so could miss a Euro 2020 qualifier in Holland.
McGovern has 28 caps and was first choice for Michael O'Neill at Euro 2016 but has only made two friendly appearances in his nation's last 15 matches - which he admits made his decision to sign a new City deal even more difficult.
"Obviously I've been playing second fiddle behind Bailey Peacock-Farrell," he continued. "It's something you have to weigh up on the football side of things, in terms of playing first-team football. But ultimately, it's a short career as well, you have to make the right choices for your family and things like that as well."
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