Bristol City star given major contract boost as Ireland goalie signs new long-term deal
The Robins have signed O’Leary to a new deal - with one less player to worry about this summer
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Max O’Leary has committed his long-term future to Bristol City by signing a three-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2026.
The 26-year-old was out of contract at the end of the season but has done enough to persuade Nigel Pearson and the board to give him a new contract. He displaced club captain Dan Bentley as the first-choice goalkeeper in October, and after Bentley’s sale to Wolves, is the firm choice for a starting position.
Despite the arrival of French goalkeeper Stefan Bajic in the summer, O’Leary remained number two and was patient for another opportunity, which he has taken with both hands. O’Leary has kept five clean sheets in the 20 starts he’s made in the Championship this season, and also recorded once against West Brom in the FA Cup.
O’Leary is a graduate of City’s highly-thought-of academy and joined the club in 2006. He has been in and out of the first team picture for the last 10 years and made his debut in January 2016. The Bath-born shot-stopper has had loan spells at Kidderminster Harriers, Bath City, Solihull Moors and Shrewsbury Town, before cementing himself as Pearson’s first choice.
He made 15 appearances under Lee Johnson in the 2018/19 season, and signed his deal then, but was loaned out to former Robins boss Steve Cotterill at Shrewsbury the next season. Last year, he had a spell in the side for Bentley and played 11 matches in total before an injury against Swansea City meant that he lost his place in the side.
O’Leary is the second player in recent months to commit their future to the club after Nahki Wells signed a two-year deal which keeps him at Ashton Gate until 2025. Jay Dasilva, Zak Vyner, Tomas Kalas, Nikita Haikin and Andy King all have their contrats to play for from now until the end of the season.