Charlton Athletic have been linked with signing the MK Dons released Goalkeeper, David Martin, but why when we have a perfectly good goalkeeper from the Academy on the bench? It’s time for the young Dillon Phillips to step-up!

At the end of May in 2016, Charlton Athletic academy graduate, and goalkeeper, Dillon Phillips, returned from a season-long loan spell at Cheltenham Town. By the time preseason began, Phillips was already made aware that he would need to make the step-up to be a main (backup) keeper in the 2016/17 season, as a result of the Addicks selling Nick Pope and Stephen Henderson. Now is the time for Phillips to make another step-up, but from our number two keeper to our number one for the 2017/18 season.

For the 2016/17 League One campaign, former Charlton Athletic manager, Russell Slade brought in Declan Rudd on a season-long loan deal from Norwich City. The 26-year-old did return to the Canaries last week, with his contract set to run out in the next few weeks. However, the East Anglian club has triggered a one-year extension.

As it currently stands, the future of what club Rudd will play for in the upcoming campaign is uncertain. Could the Canaries loan him back out to Charlton Athletic? Or in fact, another club? Who knows.

Karl Robinson has made clear that one of his priority positions to consolidate and strengthen for a possible promotion push next season is the shot-stopper. Robinson has also made it clear that he would like Rudd to return, but as mentioned there are no guarantees of that, and it is out of his control.

Last week, Charlton Athletic were linked with the recently released MK Dons’ keeper, 31-year-old David Martin, who played under Robinson during his six years managerial tenure at the Buckinghamshire outfit. If Martin decided to sign with the Addicks’ in the upcoming window, then no doubt Phillips will be relied on to be a backup keeper once again.

However, in my opinion, Charlton Athletic should be looking for another young keeper to cover Dillon Phillips as our main shot-stopper.

During the recent Sky Bet League One campaign, Phillips was forced to cover Rudd after the Norwich City loanee succumbed to an injury which ruled him out for a few weeks. In the time that Phillips was forced to take the Number One role, he performed well.

Phillips made eight League One appearances last season, and in those games, Charlton was unbeaten in six and only lost two.

  1. Bristol Rovers 1 – 5 Charlton Athletic (W)
  2. Charlton Athletic 1 – 1 Sheffield United (D)
  3. Bradford City 0 – 0 Charlton Athletic (D)
  4. Charlton Athletic 0 – 2 Peterborough United (L)
  5. Millwall 3 – 1 Charlton Athletic (L)
  6. MK Dons 0 – 1 Charlton Athletic (W)
  7. Southend United 1 – 1 Charlton Athletic (D)
  8. Charlton Athletic 4 – 1 Bristol Rovers (W)

Out of the eight games that Phillips was in goal, Charlton conceded a total of nine goals and kept two clean sheets. Two clean sheets in eight appearances are definitely not promotion form, however, that fault cannot sit solely with the goalkeeper but a leaky and unorganised defence at times, especially when Jason Pearce was absent.

With a strong pre-season for Phillips and another proven centre-back to partner with the commanding and organised Jason Pearce – is there any reason why Phillips cannot become our number one next season? No, there is no reason at all, especially if he has two reliable centre-back veterans in front of him.

It is obvious that Phillips requires game time to improve, and no doubt he may start to become agitated if he cannot start to play regular and weekly football. Could he ask for another loan spell? Or would he go as far to ask for a permanent move?

Charlton Athletic have a reputable academy and are known for the quality they can produce, as well as the fact Karl Robinson has a reputation of favouring young academy players – so why not give Phillips the chance?

About Author

Charlton Athletic fan who is still proud and loves the achievements under Jimmy Seed, Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell. I am still waiting for the day when we return to the top flight of English Football! I am staunchly against the Roland Duchatelet ownership and support CARD in his removal. I am also a qualified referee with the London FA. Twitter: @ValleyFloydFred