MAX Crocombe is hoping to make the most of his opportunity to claim a spot in the Oxford United side during Ryan Clarke’s absence.
The New Zealander has played in all United’s first-team friendly games during pre-season, with Clarke recovering from a foot operation.
But he looks set to come under more competition for the jersey, with Michael Appleton revealing this week he was keen to sign a goalkeeper as cover.
It was initially hoped Clarke would only miss the opening month of the campaign, but the U’s head coach is preparing to be without him until late November.
Free agent Peter Brezovan was training with the squad this week, while the Sheffield Star have linked the U’s with a loan move for Sheffield United’s George Long.
Crocombe, speaking before both men were named in the frame, has just been focusing on doing all he can in pre-season to impress.
He said: “You always have to approach it like that, whether you know there’s another keeper there or not.
“When you’re playing it’s all about the one game you’re in.
“Every game you play you have to approach as though it’s yours and hopefully perform to a good enough level.
“I’m confident I can do that and we seem to have a good thing going here.”
Crocombe, 20, is highly-rated by United, but has had to be patient for chances in competitive games.
After making his debut in a 1-1 draw at home to Burton Albion in January 2013, he went on to play in the final three games of the season without conceding a goal.
It came while Clarke was sidelined following shoulder surgery, but the No 1’s outstanding form last season meant his deputy did not play a minute for the first team.
Crocombe’s challenge was hampered by his own injury, which has now fully healed during the summer.
He said: “Last year I had a bit of an issue with my shoulder, so it was good I got a good rest for two or three weeks.
“Then I just started picking it back up.
“I was working close to every day to get it sorted. Now it’s feeling good I can kick on with everything else.
“It’s definitely a lot stronger.
“It’s something you have to keep on top of, for how long I don’t know, but I should be able to play with confidence.”
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