Rotherham United have made their third signing of the summer after securing the signature of former England under-21 ‘keeper Scott Loach, subject to medical and Football League ratification.
The 26-year-old has signed a two-year deal and joins midfielder Conor Newton and striker Matt Derbyshire in committing his future to the club.
Manager Steve Evans moved for the former Watford and Ipswich custodian to compete for the number one position with Adam Collin, as the Millers continue to prepare for their Championship campaign.
“First of all I must say that Adam Collin has been magnificent since he grabbed the number one jersey last season, and it is fair to say that he has played a major part in where we are today,” Evans told www.themillers.co.uk
“As I told Adam in the reviews at the end of the season that I have with each player, we’ll be bringing in some competition for him and that is exactly what we have done, Adam was excited and is looking forward to the challenge.
“Scott has made over 150 starts for Watford in The Championship so he has great experience at this level. He has played under the likes of the excellent Malky Mackay and Brendan Rodgers and they are two individuals who know a player when they see one. He has just turned 26 so he is at a good age; he has previously been called up to the England senior squad and has been capped repeatedly at under-21 level. He has great stature, he kicks well, he has all the attributes that a top ‘keeper needs and he fits in perfectly to what we are looking for.”
After being involved with the England senior set-up only two years ago, Loach’s pedigree and willingness to succeed were key factors in Evans’ decision to swoop for the Nottingham-born stopper.
“Similar to Matt Derbyshire and Conor Newton we are signing a player who is still young, still has a point to prove and is hungry for success,” added Evans.
“He had a dream move to Ipswich, his boyhood club, for a sizeable undisclosed fee but it hasn’t quite worked out as he would have wished. We are delighted to sign Scott, like our other signings, he has a fantastic pedigree and he wants to help take this club and his career forward.
“I talked to him purely on football terms and the discussions were very straightforward. He wants to come in and grab the number one shirt and he is under no illusions to how tough that will be. Both our ‘keepers will know that come August 9th I will pick the person that we genuinely believe deserves the shirt, there can be no other way.”
Evans also confirmed that Loach had come highly-recommended, whilst goalkeeper coach Andy Dibble also watched him intently several times, as Evans went on to reveal:
“We knew that it was very unlikely we would have been able to get Scott Loach as a League One club. Now we are in The Championship it opens doors for the club to attract this calibre of player. We were very thorough in our selection, we spoke to several of his former goalkeeper coaches, Andy Dibble has seen him on a number of occasions and his reports we received were all very positive.
“I have said over the last three months or so that Adam Collin has been terrific but he has always had Scott Shearer breathing down his neck, so we are delighted to have increased that further competition.”