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Ebbsfleet keeper Harry Palmer on debut against Chorley and staying in the team

ByMatthew Panting

Ebbsfleet keeper Harry Palmer is hoping to stay in the starting line-up for a little longer yet.

Palmer made an impressive debut in the 4-0 win at Chorley last week and kept his place against Chesterfield on Saturday.

Fleet keeper Harry Palmer in action on debut at Chorley. Picture: Stefan Willoughby
Fleet keeper Harry Palmer in action on debut at Chorley. Picture: Stefan Willoughby

Regular keeper Jordan Holmes returns from injury for this week's FA Cup tie against Notts County, leaving Ebbsfleet boss Kevin Watson with a decision to make.

"Competition is healthy," said Palmer, who played for Canvey Island in Isthmian North last season.

"Jordan has done very well since he's come in and we're a similar age. It's healthy competition, 100 per cent, but either way whatever happens we're behind each other.

"We're good friends off the pitch and we support each other on it. We're in the goalkeepers' union so to speak.

"He sent me text messages (on Tuesday) and you saw him on Twitter as well. We're happy as long as the team wins, it's a team game. Whoever plays, we want to pick up three points and we're behind each other."

Palmer knew it was going to be tough this season, originally joining as Nathan Ashmore's understudy.

But Watson showed great confidence in Palmer by rejecting the chance to sign other keepers on loan when Holmes was ruled out.

"It was a massive vote of confidence," said Palmer. "I've trained well, obviously in the full-time environment. I was training every day at Southend last year so I am used to it physically.

"But in terms of the levels when you are playing and knowing how much the three points mean to everyone then it does put a little bit more on it of course.

"I knew that at the start of the season it was going to be tough to break into the side, Ash was one of the best keepers in the division last year. We didnt start the season fantastically collectively.

"The gaffer made changes and brought Jordan in who has done very well so I had to be patient with that.

"My opportunity has come now and hopefully I can get a decent run in the side."

Despite dropping points against Chesterfield at the weekend, Palmer believes the Fleet have enough quality in their squad to climb out of the drop zone.

Conditions made it tough for keepers at the weekend and Palmer admitted he is learning with every game.

"Overall we're disappointed (not to win)," said Palmer. "There were spells when we could have taken our chances.

"We didn't buckle, we kept going and that's all you can really ask.

"We give 110 per cent every week and we think we're more than good enough to get out of the trouble we are in.

"It was very tough, wet and zippy. For keepers it's very difficult but you have to deal with it and change when you can.

"You do have to adapt to conditions, you're not always going to catch things clean. You learn lessons every game, I'm still young and am enjoying it."

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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