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Kieren Westwood Aiming High

Steven WoodgateCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2009

Keiren Westwood never gets the praise and the credit he deserves. He is, at present, the best goalkeeper playing in the Championship.

This is a league with some very good goalkeepers—Marcus Hahnemann, Kelvin Davis, and Adriano Basso to name a few, but Westwood is sensational and is the next up-and-coming goalkeeper. He will be the next name on the list of transfer targets for Premier League teams that need a decent goalkeeper.

He has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad recently and on current form Ireland looks like they have found their replacement for Shay Given when he finally hangs up his gloves. A worthy replacement when the inevitable happens.

However, Westwood’s first inclusion caused much controversy with some Irish fans as many thought he was not a worthy choice. He even foolishly claimed, “I’m not Irish as such, but I’m a Catholic boy.” Lessons have been learnt.

For his club side, Westwood is proving to be a key player at Coventry City, after his £450,000 move in the summer from Carlisle, he has been pinnacle to their mid-table "success".

For Carlisle he was he stand out player and was easily voted the League One’s Goalkeeper of the year with a string of brilliant performances to propel the northern club into the play off places.

He has great reflexes, very dominant in the air and is one of the most agile in the game. The Irishman will have to make the step up to continue his development, he will not become the best at Coventry City but fortunately, for the Sky Blues, he has plenty of time on his side.

Being 23-years old seems a long way until a goalkeeper reaches his peak. If he progresses as quickly has he had done, he will be playing with the elite in no time.

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