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Birmingham City need to take a punt on goalkeeper from lower league neighbours

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Birmingham City survived a relegation threat on the final day of the season with a dramatic 3-1 victory over automatic promotion contenders Fulham, to secure themselves another season of Championship football at St Andrew’s.

Garry Monk’s squad struggled this season at the back, conceding 68 goals in the league alone. Ageing goalkeeper David Stockdale played 36 of those games, but doesn’t look to be the keeper he once was in his heyday.

It is time that the Blues let the old guard go, and invest in some youth talent from their lower league neighbours.

Stourbridge Football Club play their football in the seventh tier of English football in the Southern League Premier Central division, and recently won the Birmingham FA Senior Cup, which was held at Birmingham City’s ground, St Andrews.

The star of the show on the day was striker Luke Benbow, who netted twice in their 2-1 victory over Hednesford Town, but the headlines were stolen by departing goalkeeper Matthew Gould, who announced he was leaving the club this summer.

After two years at the Birmingham based side, Matthew Gould, whose father Jonathan was a Scotland international and grandfather Bobby was the mastermind manager behind Wimbledon’s ‘crazy gang’ success, called it time for Stourbridge in pursuit of higher level football.

With David Stockdale aged 32, and back up goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak 36-years-old, Gould be the first of many young, up and coming transfer targets for Birmingham City, which could see them finally get out of the rut they are in.

While Gould may not be a household name yet, he is certainly one for the future. His exceptional kicking abilities, quick reflexes and safe hands, make him everything that Birmingham City should be looking for between the sticks.

With their first two goalkeeping options with a combined age of 68, new, young players must be added to Garry Monks side this summer if they are to avoid a relegation battle once again next season.

I am a journalism student, edging towards my graduation, with a passion for sport and a drive to get into the world of sports journalism.

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