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

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Rochdale Articles

Are Players Set For A Football Exit?

With the country narrowly voting to leave the European Union in Thursday's Referendum, there are certainly plenty of real questions that have to be addressed in terms...

League Cup Draw Wednesday 1pm

Four hours after the Football League fixture list is revealed, the League Cup first round...

League One Fixtures For 2016/17 Released Tomorrow

The coming League One fixtures for the 2016/17 season will be announced early tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

Rochdale Fans To Travel 5,871 Miles In 2016/17

With the make up of League One known for the coming 2016/17 season with the curtain drawn on the 2015/16 year and all Play Off winners announced, here is how far Rochdale fans...

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 win50%
Coventry win0%
Draw50%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Rochdale Results (view all)

Rochdale Fixtures (view all)