JAK Alnwick says there is nothing but a friendly competition between the Rangers goalkeepers as he admits it’s the strongest group he’s ever been part of.
Alnwick, new arrival Allan McGregor and Wes Foderingham are all battling it out for the starting jersey in Steven Gerrard’s team and he says it is pushing their level of performance to its limits.
The 25-year-old, who celebrated his birthday in Spain with the Light Blues last week, played 10 times last season, five of those starts coming in the Premiership after a late season injury to Foderingham.
Speaking to RangersTV Alnwick said: “There are four of us out here and we are all in the same boat at the moment, it is a new manager and we are all trying to impress.
“You can see on a day to day basis that we all get on well. Wes and I have known each other a while and Greegsy has fitted straight in, we are all really good friends.
“We are trying to take each other’s place but it is never ever a bad thing, we know there is only one position and it is down to us to prove why we should get it. Whoever gets that number one shirt deserves it.
“I finished off the season, Wes had a good season and Greegsy came in off the back of a good season with Hull. Then you have Robby who had a good first season on loan and a good tournament in the summer with Scotland. It is great competition for all four of us.
“I was just thinking about how competitive this group is recently and think it is similar to the Newcastle United group I was part of. At the time we had Tim Krul, Steve Harper, Fraser Forster and me.
“It was a similar situation as Harps was a little bit older, Fraser had been out on loan a couple of times, as had Tim. It is a similar type of group but it is all good competition for all of us to push each other.”
Goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart has taken four goalkeepers to Spain this summer, the fourth Robby McCrorie who was on loan in League Two last season.
And Alnwick says it is not just the outfield players who have been worked to the bone in the sunshine – Gerrard and his staff have brought out the best in everyone.
“The levels have really gone up; you look at the manager and his qualities and him as a player. We know we have to impress on that sort of level.
“He was world class level when he was a player and he is going to be looking at players for the qualities he had kind of had as a player.
“I think everyone knows that they have got to up their standards and we know that last season it was a disappointment on our level. We know to get something this season we need to up our standards.
“We are getting a little bit of an idea about how the goalkeepers might fit into this team. We are working backwards towards the way they are going to want us to play out in terms of from the back.
“Either way it is going to be down to the goalkeepers to adapt and I think all three of us have been at different clubs long enough to fit into any style of play.”