WES Foderingham expects Swindon Town to bring in another goalkeeper to challenge him for a starting berth in 2012/13.
Foderingham quickly endeared himself to Town fans with a string of fine performances after arriving on an initial loan deal from Crystal Palace last year.
The transfer was made permanent in January and the stopper continued his superb form as a fully-fledged Robin, conceding just one goal at home in the league all season.
With the new campaign just around the corner, however and with only first-year professional Leigh Bedwell as back-up, Foderingham is under the impression the club are ready to splash out on a new keeper before competitive action resumes in August.
He said: “I’ve heard they’re probably going to bring in another goalkeeper.
“I’m not sure who that’s going to be or if they’re still going to do that.
“Obviously Leigh is here as well and he’s going to compete but I don’t know too much about it to be honest.
“I need competition, I need someone who can push me, I can’t relax and I need to stay on my toes. It’s not in my nature to relax anyway and it’s good to have strength and competition for places.”
Foderingham has been impressed by Bedwell’s development since the pair returned for pre-season training.
The duo have spent long periods away from the rest of the Swindon squad at their training base on the banks of Lake Garda in northern Italy, working with coach Domenico Duardo.
“The players have been doing running and fitness-based stuff whereas me, Leigh and Dom have been focusing on the strength aspect and trying to build the strength in our legs,” said Foderingham.
“He (Bedwell) is getting on very well, he’s come back looking a bit bigger this pre-season and I think he’s going to do well this season.”
Town return from their pre-season camp on Saturday and face their first test on native soil when they make the trip to Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday.
It has been a challenging fortnight for the entire squad, not only physically but mentally, but Foderingham said everyone in the Swindon party will have benefited from two weeks’ hard graft.
“Obviously you’re around the boys 24/7 and you’re doing the same sort of things every day – lunch at a certain time, breakfast at a certain time – you get stuck in a certain routine but the second part of the two weeks has gone relatively quick,” he said.
“We’re just trying to make the most of the training and it will put us in good stead when we get back to England.
“You can do a lot of running and fitness work but nothing compares to 90 minutes and match fitness so a lot of the boys are focusing on getting back to England and getting some games under our belts.”
The Robins face Foderingham’s former club Crystal Palace in their final pre-season friendly on August 8 and the keeper can’t wait to show his old employers exactly what they missed out on by allowing the 21-year-old to move to Wiltshire six months ago.
Nevertheless, Foderingham remains grateful to Town for giving him his break in the professional game.
“I just wanted to get an opportunity,” he said. “I was just a young lad trying to make a name for myself in the game and luckily I got that opportunity here and I took it.
“Now it’s down to me to stay on my toes and keep improving. I am kind of surprised how far I’ve come in the nine months I’ve been here.”