Goalkeeper Mark Halstead has committed his future to Morecambe
Goalkeeper Mark Halstead has given Morecambe a boost by signing a new two-year contract.
The news comes a week after veteran shotstopper Barry Roche also agreed a new deal to remain at the Globe Arena.
The 28-year-old former Blackpool and Shrewsbury Town keeper was brought in last summer as competition for Roche following the departure of Dan Nizic
He made three appearances in the early stages of last season, but Roche’s thigh injury sustained in the draw at Newport County AFC meant Halstead was handed a regular run of games in goal.
He played the next 26 games, producing man-of-the-match appearances in Morecambe’s wins against Yeovil Town and Port Vale.
He was dropped to the bench after the 4-0 loss at Swindon Town in March with the fit-again Roche figuring in the next five games.
However, with safety secured, Halstead was restored to the starting XI for the final two games of the season; victory at Cambridge United and a draw with Newport at the Globe Arena.
He said: “I enjoyed last year and when the manager offered me a new deal it was an easy decision for me.
“It was great to get the players’ player of the year award last year. That was a real highlight and fantastic to be recognised by the rest of the lads and I still think there is more to come from me.
“I can’t wait now to get back now and get the pre season underway.’’
Boss Jim Bentley added: “Mark came to us late in pre season from Southport and fitted in with the squad straight away.
“He was understudy to Barry early on and he worked very hard for when his chance came along and when it did he excelled and proved what a good keeper he is. He had some outstanding games, Port Vale away springs to mind.
“It speaks volumes when Barry returned to fitness, that Mark kept his place for a lot of the time.
“There is nothing between them now and what is good is that Barry and Mark are close friends, respect each other and push each other every day in training, that’s what we want throughout the squad in every position.
“As a manager, it’s great to have two number ones in your squad that you trust and like as players and people.
“Everyone will have their own opinion on who they’d like to see play but I’m looking forward to seeing how they both do in pre season during both training and games.
“It will be a nice headache for me to have.”