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Plymouth want Fulham keeper Stockdale for longer

last updated Saturday 23rd January 2010, 12:58 PM
Fulham keeper David Stockdale
Fulham keeper
David Stockdale
David Stockdale
FULHAM goalkeeper David Stockdale has signed for Plymouth Argyle on a one-month loan.

Pilgrims' head coach Paul Mariner had been searching for competition for club captain Romain Larrieu since releasing Kyle Letheren at the end of December.

Stockdale played for Fulham against Argyle in a behind-closed-doors practice game in south-west London on Tuesday.

The 6ft 3in shot-stopper caught the eye of Pilgrims' assistant head coach John Carver, who was at the match, and Stockdale signed on the dotted line yesterday.

He would have been eligible for Argyle's rearranged game against Barnsley at Home Park today had it not been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Stockdale, who will wear the number 21 shirt, trained with his new Argyle team-mates yesterday.

Stockdale has initially been signed by the Pilgrims until February 18, but Mariner wants him to stay for longer than that.

Mariner said: "We have had a very good dialogue with Fulham, so, hopefully, after the one month we can look to extend it."

Born in Leeds, Stockdale started his career at York City before moving to Darlington.

He played 54 times for the Quakers before being signed by Fulham on a two-year contract in June 2008.

The transfer fee was reported to be £350,000, rising to a maximum of £600,000.

Stockdale had loan spells with Rotherham United and Leicester City last season, making eight appearances for each of them.

This term he has been the understudy to Fulham's experienced Australia international goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

A neck injury to Schwarzer meant Stockdale played three times in 11 days for Fulham during September.

He made his Premier League debut in a 2-1 home win against Everton on September 13.

Stockdale then played in a Europa League tie away to Bulgaria's CSKA Sofia four days later, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Stockdale also played in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City in the Carling Cup third round, before Schwarzer returned to action after his injury lay-off.

However, Stockdale's performances in those games impressed Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.

That led to Stockdale signing an extension to his contract last month, which ties him to Fulham until June 2013.

Mariner said: I have a very good friend in the coaching staff at Leicester City and they spoke very highly of David after he helped them to get promotion last season.

"Obviously, I have got great respect for Roy Hodgson and Mike Kelly, the goalkeeping coach at Fulham.

"I have known Mike for many years and I know what a fantastic goalkeeper coach he is.

"David has been working with Mike, so we know that he's a good 'keeper, and he has just signed a new contract with Fulham so they think highly of him. Therefore, we are delighted to get him."

Larrieu has started 67 successive matches for Argyle since taking over from Graham Stack for the 2-1 away win against Watford in September 2008.

Mariner added: "It's the same for every position. We want competition for all places and that is what David brings."

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