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ALDERSHOT Town boss Terry Brown is keeping tabs on highly-rated goalkeeper Richard Barnard after his contract ran out at Maidenhead United

ALDERSHOT Town boss Terry Brown is lining up Maidenhead's talented young goalkeeper Richard Barnard as a replacement for the departed Gareth Howells.

Barnard has enjoyed two excellent seasons under Alan Devonshire at York Road and has built up a reputation as one of the best keepers outside of the Conference.

But with his contract now expired and Devonshire heading off to manage Hampton & Richmond Borough, Brown has invited the 22-year-old shot-stopper to training and is currently in negotiations to make the deal long-term.

Barnard, a former Millwall apprentice, lives in Fleet and reportedly sees Aldershot as a natural progression back into the full-time game.

But boss Brown has also made it clear that if any move was to take place, Barnard would not sign just to sit on the bench as understudy to Nikki Bull.

Brown said: "Richard is a quality keeper and if he was to sign for us then he will be pushing Nikki Bull all the way for a place in the first team.

"Richard has been training with us and I am in discussions with him about keeping him here."

Meanwhile, Brown will be holding a series of talks with a number of current players this week to decide their future at the club as he looks to finalise his squad for the Conference season ahead.

He is also in discussion with a number of players like Roscoe D'sane and Dominic Sterling about new improved deals as clauses in some of the players' contracts stipulate that re-negotiations should take place if Aldershot won promotion to the top-flight.

Brown, is however, confident that he won't be losing any of his current star names.

The boss' training schedule is up and running and going to plan, while some of the Football League players on the 600-strong released list are expected to turn up for a trial game on July 5.

If any do shine then they will be expected to line up for the Shots in their pre-season friendly with Ash United the following Saturday (12), while another, more familiar line-up, will travel to Hitchin Town.

Brown added: "It used to be a case of signing these players before it's too late but it isn't like that anymore.

"I want to see the players play first and if they can prove that they are better than what I have already got then we'll take a closer look at them in one of the friendly games."

l The new social club will be open every day this week, starting tonight (Tuesday) from 6.30pm.

This, of course, includes big screen viewing of the England v Slovakia European Championships qualifier tomorrow night, ko 8pm.

All are welcome to pop in.

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