City snap up Rochdale keeper

Norwich City have made their second signing of the summer - Rochdale goalkeeper Matthew Gilks. Gilks, 25, will link up with the Canaries on July 1 when he becomes a free agent.

Norwich City have made their second signing of the summer - Rochdale goalkeeper Matthew Gilks.

Gilks, 25, arriving on a Bosman free transfer, will link up full-time with the Canaries on July 1. He has signed a two-year contract.

But the 6ft 1in keeper was at Carrow Road today for the formal announcement of his signing - and revealed it was not the first time Norwich had been linked with him.

He said: “It had been mentioned a couple of years ago but I just saw that as speculation. But I'm delighted they came back and showed more interest and I'm delighted to be joining.

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“I've just turned 25 and I've played nearly 200 games at Rochdale and I think it's about time that I moved on, progressed and tried to ply my trade at a higher level and fortunately Norwich have come in and I'm going to get the chance to do that.”

Gilks, 6ft 1in, made 197 senior appearances for his home town club. He had been with Rochdale from the age of 13.

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He said he had set his sights on regular first-team football at Norwich.

Said Gilks: “Peter Grant says as far as he's concerned I'll be on an even keel with whichever other goalkeepers are here. I want to play football and that's what I intend to do.

“You can't beat playing football in the first team. I've done many games in the reserves, windy Tuesday nights up in Rochdale and I don't want to be doing that again.”

Former City'keeper Bryan Gunn, in his club liaison role, said of Gilks: “We had him watched a number of times last season. Sustained reports on Matthew were that he was an excellent goalkeeper and we made the decision we needed competition.

“I'm not saying we've finished our quest on goalkeepers there, but I think Matthew's aware of that situation and he's very positive.

“He's a very confident lad. He bosses his defence very much in the way a goalkeeper should.”

Grant told the club's official website there had been interest in Gilks from Premiership clubs.

He said: “Matt had that opportunity and he's looked at it and said he wants to play as much football as possible. He was more comfortable he could prove he could be the number one here, and I want that competition through the team. He had options but he wanted to come and fight for the position of goalkeeper with Norwich City.

“We have watched him lots. He's played two full seasons now, has not missed a game and has been terrific. We have watched him closely and all the reports have been very complimentary and when I've watched him personally he's done very well.

“His handling and his distribution is very good and he's very confident. And that comes from the amount of games he's played."

Grant insists he is still chasing Celtic goalkeeper David Marshall, however.

He said: “We have made an offer to Celtic and he is very keen to come to Norwich City. But how we value him and how Celtic value him seems to be different.”

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