30 Jul 2012
- Written by Chris Flanagan (Lancashire Telegraph)
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A YEAR after a switch to Blackburn Rovers fell through, former Liverpool goalkeeper Tony Warner hopes a move to Accrington Stanley could be on the cards after impressing in a trial match on Sunday.
Once David James’ understudy at Anfield, Warner later went on to have an extensive career in English football with a number of clubs including Millwall, Cardiff, Fulham and Tranmere.
A Trinidad and Tobago international, the 38-year-old seemed set to move to Blackburn last summer but instead spent the 2011/12 campaign playing in the Australian A-League with New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix.
But he is now back in his native Liverpool looking for a club in the north west and his performance in a trial appearance for Stanley against St Mirren at the weekend, when he produced a superb one-handed save reminiscent of the similarly rangy James, surely gave Reds boss Paul Cook food for thought.
A goalkeeper, together with a striker, are the two positions Stanley need to fill before the start of the season – with Ian Dunbavin currently the only senior stopper on their books.
“I enjoyed the game and I was pleased to get 90 minutes under my belt,” said the 6ft 4in keeper.
“Probably about a month ago I spoke to Cooky in passing and he mentioned that there might be a spot here.
“There was interest from Blackburn last summer, I spoke to them but it just didn’t happen, that’s just the way it goes.
“I went to New Zealand, playing in the A-League for Wellington Phoenix, and that was interesting.
“Living all the way over there with my partner and my kids, it was nice, I’d never been to Australia before or New Zealand and we played a lot of away games so to see that part of the world was well worth doing and I’d recommend it to anyone.
“I’m based in Liverpool at the moment so a club in the north west would be ideal. I’d have to talk to Cooky but it’s a possibility, although he’d have more of an idea than I would.
“I know Ian Dunbavin from Liverpool and I know Cooky so it’s been a very easy place to settle into, they are very down to earth good lads here.
“The way Cooky is trying to do things is encouraging and everyone is willing to learn and has loads of enthusiasm, so it’s a good place to be.”
Warner is expected to continue with Stanley and first-team coach Paul Lodge said: “He made a couple of really good saves.
“He’ll assess us and we’ll assess him. He’s a very experienced keeper and you can’t beat experience in that position.
“We’d love to see him stay on.”
Meanwhile the Reds have announced their squad numbers for the new season. Included is 32-year-old assistant boss Leam Richardson , who has not retired but has not figured in pre-season.
Squad numbers: 2 Peter Murphy , 3 Michael Liddle, 4 Luke Joyce , 5 Toto Nsiala, 6 Dean Winnard , 7 Craig Lindfield, 8 Charlie Barnett, 10 Will Hatfield, 11 Aiden Chippendale, 12 George Miller, 13 Leam Richardson, 14 Luke Clark, 15 Bohan Dixon, 16 Lewis Hatch, 18 Tom Eckersley, 19 Marcus Carver, 20 Ryan Hopper, 21 Adam Stockdale, 22 Andrew Dawber, 25 Ian Dunbavin.