GOALKEEPER Jack Walton is delighted to be back at Stalybridge Celtic for a second loan spell of the current campaign.
The 19-year-old, Barnsley’s third-choice keeper, will be at Bower Fold for the remainder of the season to gain valuable experience.
Walton, a second-year professional at the EFL Championship club, was called back to Oakwell earlier this season to provide cover on the bench to Adam Davies following an injury to No 2 Nick Townsend.
He said: “I enjoyed my first spell with Celtic – there is a good coaching staff here – and am happy to be back as this is a lot better than playing reserve-team football.
“I need to be playing games and hopefully I will have a lot between now and the end of the season and that will improve my game.”
Walton has featured on the bench for around a dozen first-team games at Barnsley and his dream is to make his senior bow.
“Playing regularly for Celtic will hopefully provide valuable experience,” he continued.
“I look on it as a stepping stone to improve my game and obviously I want to play as high as possible in the game.”
Walton, previously on the academy books of Bury and Bolton Wanderers, says Petr Cech, Edwin van der Sar and Manuel Neuer are his goalkeeping idols.
But he also revealed that he has not always been a goalkeeper and once was a defender.
He said: “When I was at Bury between the ages of nine and 12, I was a centre half but soon realised I was too slow.
“I started playing in goal for a local side in a Saturday league when I was about 12 and that is how the switch came about.”
Walton’s arrival at Bower Fold means an exit for James Coates, though Celtic will keep his registration until he finds a new club.
Manager Steve Burr added that, sadly, he does not have the funds to carry two goalkeepers.