Who is Martin Fraisl? Rangers linked goalkeeper Bristol Rovers fans are convinced is signing

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Bristol Rovers fans' tails are wagging after being made aware of the social media activity of an Austrian goalkeeper.

The summer transfer window is a time where fans become detectives, and do their own work to find out what is on the agenda at their club and that's happened at Bristol Rovers.

An indication that a signing is near is when club owner Wael al-Qadi begins to follow someone on Instagram, who he wouldn't necessarily follow unless something was happening. Al-Qadi engages with fans, and is keen to share what he's up to, and finds a link to the Gas when possible. He's following some big names including five-time Champions League winner Gareth Bale, but you can rule out a move to the Memorial Stadium for the Welsh superstar.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Interestingly though, some fans have looked at who is following al-Qadi, and the name Martin Fraisl has appeared. He has followed al-Qadi, as well as the club and Joey Barton. To follow all three is some commitment, and at least for now he can be updated by what the Gas are doing out in the Algarve, as they continue their pre-season preparations.

Following all three on social media doesn't always point at someone signing, and it could be an unknown reason behind it, but as is the nature of pre-season, fans want to take in content whatever way they can. Already, fans have started asking the question to Joey Barton, with one saying 'when are we announcing Martin Fraisl Joey?' Meanwhile, Charlie Hayne, who runs a popular Bristol Rovers YouTube channel, also discussed the prospect of signing the Austrian.

Here's what we know so far about Martin Fraisl, and whether there's any substance behind a move to the Mem.

The Rangers links...

It was reported in March of last year that Fraisl was offered a contract by Rangers. Irish journalist Ronan Murphy claimed he was offered a contract, and that Norwich City had also been interested in him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He was contracted to Schalke at the time, and had a fair few offers on the table, and despite Rangers apparently offering a contract, as well as interest from the Canaries, he remained in Germany and joined Arminia Bielefeld.

His career so far

At 30-years-old, Fraisl has a lot of experience under his belt, and goalkeepers tend to go on longer than outfield players. The majority of his career has been spent in his native Austria and he turned out for Wolfsbach, before playing for the likes of Seitenstetten and Sierning, as well as Wiener Sportklub, Winer Neustadt and then FAC. Since 2018 however he's playing abroad though and made the move to Romanian outfit FC Botosani, and then to German club SV Sandhausen. He's since then played for some big clubs including ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands, FC Schalke in Germany and then most recently Arminia Bielefeld.

He's made 102 appearances in the German second tier, and has kept 17 clean sheets which is the most he's kept in his career. He's got a much better record though in the second tier of Austrian football, keeping 14 clean sheets in 63 games. A career highlight for him is probably winning the 2.Bundesliga in Germany with FC Schalke, where he played a total of 26 times, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding just 32 goals.

Why did he leave Arminia Bielefeld?

Arminia Bielfeld suffered a 6-1 aggregate defeat to Whehen Wiesbaden in June, and were subsequently relegated to the third tier of German football. It was quite the comedown for Fraisl, who a season earlier was celebrating a promotion. He had only signed a one-year deal with Arminia, and his departure probably coincides with wanting to remain at a competitive level.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Is a new goalkeeper needed?

The decision to bring in Ellery Balcombe last year split the fan base as some felt James Belshaw didn’t need to be replaced, whilst others felt that competition would keep him on his toes. Balcombe didn’t make the impact he would have liked and failed to win a game, and is now hopeful of probably getting another loan move. At the moment, Jed Ward is Belshaw’s goalkeeping rival, and he did get a chance against Port Vale last season, but that was a defeat, and maybe another loan move could benefit Ward.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.