Johnstone upbeat about being reunited with Walsh

Albion ‘keeper Sam Johnstone is excited to reignite his partnership with goalkeeping coach Gary Walsh, who joined the Baggies last week.

New recruit Gary played alongside Baggies boss Darren Moore at Bradford City, while also previously coaching Albion's first-choice stopper Sam when the pair were at Aston Villa.

The 50-year-old has also plied his trade as a coach at Wigan Athletic, Derby County, Hartlepool United and Hull City - standing him in good stead to develop Albion's goalkeeping department. 

Having spent 18 months being coached by the former Manchester United and Middlesbrough shot-stopper, Sam is delighted with the Club’s acquisition.

“It’s great to have Walshy in,” said Sam.

“He has been promoted before so he brings experience, he has worked with some good goalkeepers, I really enjoyed working with him previously so I’m happy he’s in.

“We know each other and hopefully he is happy he is working with me, Boaz (Myhill) and (Jonathan) Bondy.”

Sam is certain Gary will improve Albion’s goalkeeping ranks and is looking forward to developing under the club's new coach.

“He gives you little pointers,” he added.

“I’m open to discussing new things and where you can improve. He’s a very good coach and I’m happy he’s here and we’re working together again.

“He can bring me a lot of confidence. I think we’re finding great form now, I’m sure Walshy will slot right in and he’ll work us hard every day and improve us."

Fortunately for Albion’s 'keepers, they didn’t miss out on any high-quality training following Neil Cutler’s departure, with club stalwart and development coach Mark Naylor stepping up to the mark.

“I want to say thanks to Nails,” added Sam.

“He did a great job between Cuts leaving and Walshy coming in. I thanked him personally the other day - we went on a great run while he was doing it. 

“I’ve seen before that the manager praised him and that’s just what a top guy he is, he dropped everything to help the goalkeeping department perform.”