He may have clocked up a meteoric 20 clean sheets since becoming Fleetwood Town’s first-choice goalkeeper last November, but Alex Cairns is not resting on his laurels and is preparing for a pre-season battle to remain number one.
Chris Neal started last season between the sticks after signing from Port Vale but was usurped by Cairns, who made his first-ever League start in the 2-1 win over Chesterfield in November.
Cairns joined striker Wes Burns and defender Cian Bolger in modelling Town’s new strip this week but insists it does not matter whether he takes the number one jersey for the first time in his career or remains number 21 as long as he keeps his place.
Cairns reportedly attracted interest from Premier League West Ham before penning a fresh deal that will keep him at the club until at least the summer of 2021.
But as Town prepare to begin pre-season training in earnest on Monday ahead of their big August 5 kick-off at home to Cairns’ former club Rotherham, the keeper will be taking nothing for granted in his bid to keep the starting spot.
He said: “I’d be delighted to start but I’ve still got to work hard in pre-season. I’ve still got to show I’ve a lot to offer and am number one.
“I know it is going to be a long road. I’m looking forward to getting my head down, working hard and trying to get that number one spot. I don’t really focus too much on what number is on the back of my shirt. I just turn up at training and at games, and I do what I need to do. I’m not really fussed when it comes to squad numbers.”
Those replica shirts, priced at £40 for adults and £30 for junior and Mini-Kits for under-fours, go on sale at Highbury at 9am tomorrow.
Supporters have until 5pm today to purchase season tickets at the ‘Early Bird’ discount rate.
These are available from Highbury Stadium, by phoning (01253) 775080 or online at www.ftfcstore.com.