Liverpool loanee will be Chesterfield number one while Lee is out

Mansfield Town v Portsmouth on Saturday March 19th 2016. Portsmouth keeper Ryan Fulton clears the ball. Photo: Chris Etchells
Mansfield Town v Portsmouth on Saturday March 19th 2016. Portsmouth keeper Ryan Fulton clears the ball. Photo: Chris Etchells
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Liverpool youngster Ryan Fulton will step in as Chesterfield number one, while Tommy Lee recovers from surgery.

Fulton, 20, has joined the Spireites on a season-long loan deal.

The goalkeeper played 13 times for ex Chesterfield boss Paul Cook at Portsmouth last season, while on loan.

He signed a three-year deal at Anfield last December and is said to be highly rated by Liverpool but is yet to make his first team debut.

Boss Danny Wilson believes Fulton’s experience at Fratton Park helped prepare him for League One action.

“We know quite a lot about Ryan,” said Wilson from the club’s training camp in Hungary.

“Losing Tommy is a major blow to us but I think in Ryan we’ve got a fantastic replacement and potentially a first team player, so we’re delighted with him coming in.

“He’s a fantastic boy as well, we’ve worked with him and now he’s just itching to get playing. It’s a bit of a coup for us to get him here.”

Burnley-born Fulton, who has played for Scotland Under 16s and Under 19s, will take the place of Lee as starting goalkeeper and competition will be provided by an as-yet unsigned number two.

Wilson said: “I’m hoping Ryan will be the number one for us.

“We do need another goalkeeper as well and we’ll take our time doing that now we’ve got Ryan.

“We were very fortunate that Liverpool gave us their blessing, and they seem very impressed by what they’re hearing from us with his chances of playing on a regular basis.

“Getting a ‘keeper of Ryan’s ability was our number one priority, but now we have got him we can now take our time with the number two. We still want that bit of quiality, and maybe a bit of youthfulness as well, to take us through the season.

“It’s going to be a long hard season, so we’re still going to need cover in that position. We don’t really know exactly how long Tommy’s going to be missing for, so it’s very impoartant that we get the position sorted.”

Lee went under the knife to correct a shoulder injury and is set to miss the start of the season at least.

The 30-year-old, who played in every single Chesterfield game last season, has not travelled with the squad to their Hungarian camp.

Lee’s previous understudy, Aaron Chapman, was released by the club at the end of the 2015/16 campaign and subsequently signed for Accrington Stanley.

Whoever comes in to fill the back-up keeper position will work with the club’s new goalkeeping coach Matt Duke.

Duke, 39, spoke last week of the size of the challenge facing him, with involvement in the recruitment process.