Who is Ellery Balcombe? The Crawley Town insight into Bristol Rovers transfer target

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Mark Dunford from sister website SussexWorld gives us the lowdown on Bristol Rovers’ potential first signing of the summer

Bristol Rovers are in pole position to sign goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe from Brentford after he was recalled from his season-long loan at Crawley Town.

Various reports say that the Gas are set to sign him from the Bees, after he returned to West London for what will only be a short period before he goes back out again. The 23-year-old has had an injury this season, but has been the Red Devils' first choice goalkeeper when he has been available.

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The first signing of the January transfer window could be a goalkeeper and whilst it isn't necessary a priority, this is an opportunity that Rovers have probably felt is too good to turn down. James Belshaw is the firm choice at the minute at Rovers but with a leaky defence that has conceded the third most in League One, this is an opportunity for Belshaw to be challenged.

To get a feeling for who could be Rovers' first signing of the winter, we speak to SussexWorld's Mark Dunford, who gives us the lowdown on Balcombe.

Firstly, what kind of goalkeeper is Ellery Balcombe?

A very good one. He is a very good shot stopper and has consistently shown why he is so highly-rated. A dominant presence, agile and athletic.

What’s his strengths and weaknesses that you’ve seen at Crawley?

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He is a very good shot stopper but also a good distributor - a great example was his clearance to Dom Telford who went on to score in the League Cup defeat to Burnley.

He also produced a sensational tiop over the bar in that game.It was telling that some fans said they thought Balcombe should be number one even if club legend Glenn Morris came back off loan (Morris has since left the club to join Gillignham).

He was injured for a few months, has he managed to overcome that injury now?

Yes, as soon as he came back he took the no.1 jersey back and was never letting anyone back in. The injury doesn;t seem to effect him and he has been consistently one of Crawley’s best players.

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A few managers at the helm this season, but how was Balcombe received by each one?

It’s fair to say he was the no.1 for all of them. Kevin Betsy knew him from the England youth set-up and it was Betsy who got him to the club (probably with the help of director of football Chris Galley, who had been at Brentford previously). Lewis Young was a big fan of him as well.

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