Ben Alnwick will become a father in five weeks and he will probably still be Barnsley’s number one goalkeeper by then, according to manager Keith Hill.
Alnwick – whose partner is around eight months pregnant – joined Barnsley in the summer and went straight into the team due to an injury to last season’s Player of the Year Luke Steele. Hill says that Alnwick will keep his spot despite Steele’s return to fitness.
Hill told the Chronicle: “I can’t argue with the form of Ben Alnwick. He’s got the shirt and deserves it and I don’t think there’s any complaints from Luke Steele.”
Alnwick, 25, says he has an excellent relationship with Steele. The Northumberland-born stopper said: “Me and Steeley push each other in training and get on really well on and off the pitch. We both respect the manager’s decision about who plays and he has been very supportive.
"I had a frustrating time at Tottenham before I came here.I was getting loaned out for short spells and I never got a chance to settle but now I am getting a run of games at Barnsley which is what I need. It’s great to be back up north as well, especially as I have got a child on the way in the north east.”
Alnwick has had an eventful start to his Reds career. He was sent off on his Barnsley debut at Rochdale but has produced some solid performances since returning to the side, although he was at fault for Ipswich’s goal on Saturday.
“It has been a mixed bag for me this season,” said Alnwick.
“I should have saved that shot against Ipswich but I think I have done alright in other games. I was really disappointed with what I did at Rochdale.It was a rush of blood and something I will have to learn from. I hadn’t played much competitive football for a while and I got carried away.”
Alnwick began his career at hometown club Sunderland then moved to Tottenham Hotspur for £900,000 at the age of 20.He played just three times for Spurs in five and a half years and was loaned out to seven clubs including tomorrow’s hosts Leeds in the autumn of 2010.
Alnwick said: “It was a bit weird because I was told Kasper Schmeichel would be out for two months but he was back after two days. So I didn’t play.”