Vital Football

Latest Rochdale AFC News

Diba Will Be Given Chance

Diba Will Be Given Chance

Manager Keith Hill has confirmed that 16 year old goalkeeper Johny Diba will get his first team debut this coming season.

The local lad is still at High School but he has been invited to join the squad at our training camp in Tenerife, because Hill wants to take a really good look at him and work with him having watched him last season in our youth teams, and in a massive vote of confidence for how impressive the youngster has been, Hill has said he will be an 'integral' part of our League One squad for the coming season.

Having been with us since he was 11 years old, he had performed his way onto the radar of the national set up and has now attended an England U16 training camp on two occasions, so clearly big things in the future are expected of this lad - but the only way he'll get there is by keeping his head down and continuing to work hard, and you don't imagine Hill would let him do it any other way despite now bringing his name to the attention of fans.

Speaking to the Official Site our gaffer paid tribute to the work that a number of our youngsters had done this summer in terms of their attitude and commitment to trying to improve themselves during the off season.

'They've shown a good appetite and the likes of Callum Camps, Andy Cannon and Johny Diba are going to be integral in my squad this season. Johny Diba will step up into the first team squad and he will be coming away to Tenerife with us in pre season. I plan on playing him in goal in one of the three games that we play at Spotland, either against Wigan, Bolton or Middlesbrough, because we have to be able to see, with the encouragement from Josh and Steve Collis, how good he possibly is.'

Hill goes on to say that it was a very difficult decision for him to release Robbie Thomson from the club, but obviously Josh Lillis is our number one and player/coach Steve Collis can step in if needed as well, but Hill had to factor in the development of Diba, so in some ways it was more sensible to let Thomson move on and hopefully really begin his first team career with somebody else.

'I needed to make room for Johny to make sure that he is given an opportunity. He might be young in age but I have to help give him an opportunity and that's out intention. I've had a good chat with Johny and during pre season we'll see where he's at. I've probably got a six week window where I can see him and actually give him an opportunity, and we'll be best knowing after that six week period whether he is capable of maintaining it. I've also got Steve, the development that Josh went through under Steve was incredible. Not only is he a very good goalkeeper, but he's a very good coach and if I have to drop back onto him then I will, however I'm very mindful that Johny Diba is a talent and sometimes you've just got to clear the path for them and that's what we've done.'

How integral the three named players, and Diba especially, do become next seasonwaits to be seen, but given the potential Hill believes he has I very much doubt we'll see much of him for another few seasons, he'll more likely be involved in first team affairs, so he gets that boost, gets the training and development and the experience of visiting grounds etc and being involved to some degree on match days so he can adjust to that, but it's likely he'll remain a number 3 for at least another year or two.

alternatively if he gets his chance and takes it, who knows. Good luck to them all in any event, Hill doesn't give people a chance for the hell of it, so there's obviously something about all three irrespective of the tender years.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Site Staff
Date:Friday June 20 2014
Time: 9:36PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Rochdale Articles

EFL Awards 2017 Shortlists Revealed

The Football League have now confirmed the shortlists for the awards categories for this years EFL Awards.

Camps In Team Of The Week (28/3/17)

Rochdale are represented in the latest Football League team of the week that has been selected after this week's action.

League One 2016/17 Golden Boot Battle (27/3/17)

With most playing 39 League One games in the 2016/17 season, this year could still see a few players break the 20 goal mark.

EFL Goal Of 2016 Contenders Named

Ten EFL professional footballers find themselves nominated for the treasured Goal Of The Year gong for 2016.

Archived Vital Dale Articles

Vital Dale articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Dale
Write For Vital Dale
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Coventry v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Rochdale win60%
Coventry win23%
Draw17%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 40 24 10 6 82 32
2 Bolton 39 22 9 8 75 28
3 Fleetwood 39 19 12 8 69 19
4 Scunthorpe 40 19 10 11 67 21
5 Bradford 40 16 18 6 66 15
6 Southend 39 17 12 10 63 13
7 Millwall 39 16 12 11 60 6
8 Oxford 40 17 8 15 59 9
9 Rochdale 39 16 9 14 57 4
10 Bristol Rovers 40 15 12 13 57 -1
11 Peterborough 40 15 10 15 55 1
12 Wimbledon 40 13 15 12 54 3
13 Walsall 39 13 14 12 53 -2
14 Northampton 40 14 8 18 50 -6
15 MK Dons 39 12 12 15 48 -1
16 Charlton 39 10 17 12 47 3
17 Bury 41 12 10 19 46 -11
18 Oldham 40 10 15 15 45 -12
19 Gillingham 40 11 12 17 45 -17
20 Shrewsbury 39 11 10 18 43 -14
21 Port Vale 38 10 12 16 42 -17
22 Swindon 40 10 9 21 39 -18
23 Chesterfield 40 8 9 23 33 -28
24 Coventry 40 7 11 22 32 -27
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Rochdale Results (view all)

Rochdale Fixtures (view all)

Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Northampton Town (H)
Sky Bet League One
Apr 4 2017 7:45PM : Port Vale (H)
Sky Bet League One
Apr 8 2017 3:00PM : Shrewsbury Town (a)
Sky Bet League One
Apr 13 2017 7:45PM : Bury (a)
Sky Bet League One
Apr 17 2017 3:00PM : Coventry City (H)
Sky Bet League One
Apr 22 2017 3:00PM : Oldham Athletic (a)
Sky Bet League One
The Vital Football Members League