Stephen Bywater has signed a new one-year contract with Burton Albion as confirmed by the club website.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper signed for the Brewers in January 2016 after a spell in India playing for the Kerala Blasters and settled into his place as the squad as the reserve goalkeeper. He would remain on the bench for most of their Sky Bet Championship season as well though he did get a few chances to play at the end of the year when usual number one Jon McLaughlin was ruled out with an injury.
But while McLaughlin was released at the end of his contract this summer, Bywater has been handed a new deal which will keep him at the Pirelli Stadium until 2018. It is unlikely that he will instantly elevate to the number one jersey after McLaughlin’s departure with the smart money being on Burton bringing in a new keeper but he will be a reliable pair of hands should they not be able to snap up a new shot stopper in time for the new season.
After the contract was signed, Bywater said: “I’m so excited and I’m very happy. Once the manager said he’d like me to be here it was a no-brainer. I thought he should have got manager of the year so to play for someone who can do a job so fantastically then I want to be here.”
“I just see it that the manager knows I’ve got the ability to play if I’m called upon. I’m professional and I keep myself fit and Martin Taylor looks after me. I trust him to manage me throughout the season so no matter what stage I’m called upon I’ll be ready to go. ”
“He (Nigel Clough) wants characters and he wants people who want to be part of a team and that’s throughout the whole club. It feels like a family and I want to be part of that. I think it’s exciting.”
“All the squad are one and whoever the manager picks for certain games you go out there and you do your best for the club and that’s the mentality that we have to have. It’s not about individuals it’s about being ready to play at 3 o’clock or 7.45 and out of the whole squad you’re ready to play.”