Walker: Dean Can Go All The Way
Colchester United goalkeeper Dean Gerken has been backed to make it to the very top of the profession by U`s goalkeeping legend Mike Walker.
Gerken, who has put in some eye-catching performances in recent weeks, saved a penalty and earned the U`s a valuable away point at League leaders Watford last weekend and is widely regarded as one of the best young keepers` outside the Premiership.
Former Everton and Norwich City manager Walker feels that Gerken, a product of Colchester United`s fruitful youth system, can follow in the path of former England goalkeeping hero Ray Clemence, who started out at Scunthorpe United.
Walker told The Evening Gazette recently: "As long as Dean (Gerken) keeps his feet on the ground and trains hard in the Championship, I`m sure he can achieve big things."
"You could go back to someone like Ray Clemence at Scunthorpe. He got good experience there and went on to play for England."
Walker, who made more than 500 appearances between the sticks for the Layer Road-based club, between 1973 & 1983, also stated: "As a goalkeeper you get the spotlight on you and you need to be thick-skinned, because when outfield players make mistakes they tend to get away with it.
"You have to have an all-round desire to work hard, good handling and distribution. And it might sound daft but one main things you also need as a goalkeeper is good concentration."
Gerken has also been tipped for international honours by fellow U`s keeper and goalkeeping coach Aiden Davison.