STEVE KING this week saw one promising young goalkeeper from Notts County swapped for another Meadow Lane rising star between the sticks.
The popular and talented 19-year-old stopper Liam Mitchell has returned to the League 1 club as their first team cover. But the Rooks boss was able to secure an immediate replacement from the Midlands club in the guise of German 17-year-old talent Fabian Speiss.
Both Mitchell and midfielder George Nicholas were at the end of a month’s loan from the world famous Magpies, who recently played a friendly match with Juventus.
And although Mitchell had returned after an impressive spell in goal for Lewes, King has secured a second month’s loan spell for the classy Nicholas. And, to add to that, the teenager Speiss has joined Lewes on work experience so there is no fixed spell that he has with the club and could stay significantly longer than the month that Mitchell did.
Meanwhile, a deal with Charlton Athletic for Christian Nanetti has fallen through, so the popular winger is set to stay at the Dripping Pan – at least for the time being while scouts from league clubs look set to continue to monitor him while he plays for the Rooks.
King said of Speiss: “He’s highly rated by Martin Allen and has been on their first team bench for the last few games.
“He’s been their No.2 and now that Liam has gone back to be their No. 2 he (Speiss) has come out for some games with us. The kid’s only 17 but he’s quite a unit already. He’s only slightly smaller than Liam but that is still big. And he’s here on work experience which means it’s an open arrangement, which is brilliant for us.”
Speiss is described on the Notts County website as a “highly-rated German goalkeeper who made significant progress in his first year with the club. A commanding presence, the stopper has impressive distribution and is brave in the save.”
King added: “Liam has done really well for us and we wish him all the best in his future career at Notts County.
King said of the deal to keep Nicholas for an extended spell was good news for the club: “He’s brought an energy to the side,” he said. “He can get around and cause problems. I think overall in the month that he’s been here he’s done well for us.
“Both he and (Max) Noble have brought plenty of legs to the midfield that we didn’t have previously.
“Matt Somner is class as the holding midielder and they can get up and down the pitch, which they do well.
Lewes have a big week ahead at the Dripping Pan, with a top-of-the-table clash with AFC Hornchurch tomorrow followed by a midweek game against a Margate team who are not to be underestimated,
King urged fans to come and support the side against Hornchurch tomorrow, saying: “Come down and support the team. They’re going great guns and are unbeaten at home. So why not get behind them?
“It’s going to be a tough game; AFC are top of the league and are a very physical side so it’ll be tough.
“And although Margate have been losing at home, they’re winning games away, which proves they’ve got players who are capable of winning a game for them. They’ve got players that can hurt you.
“We’re going to have to be on it. But we are getting and better ourselves, and there’s room for us to get better still.