Fleetwood Town keeper Alex Cairns backs Billy Crellin to shine as he joins Chorley on a youth loan

Fleetwood Town's Billy Crellin
Fleetwood Town's Billy Crellin

Fleetwood Town number one Alex Cairns sees shades of himself in Billy Crellin after the young keeper joined National League side Chorley on a youth loan deal.

The 19-year-old joined the Magpies until November 3 as he fills in for the injured Matty Urwin.

He is expected to go straight into the starting XI for Chorley’s clash at Maidenhead United on Saturday.

Loan football is something with which Cairns is familiar after spells at Barrow and Stalybridge Celtic during his time at Leeds United before joining Chesterfield and Rotherham United.

Having arrived at Highbury in the summer of 2016, Cairns has now established himself as the club’s first choice keeper.

He said: “I’ve worked with Billy now for a while.

“I’d not played a full Football League game before I’d came here and Billy hasn’t; I see a lot in Billy that is in me.

“We are trying to all work together to get the best out of each other.

“But there is only one place we can have. I have got that at the minute.

“I intend on keeping that but if Billy can learn from me and progress his career then we are all winners.

“I think Billy is the right build, he’s got the right head on his shoulders; he wants to work hard.

“He’s a good goalkeeper and what will be will be for Billy.

“It is in his hands. It depends what he wants to do with all his attributes.”

It means Matt Gilks is expected to be on the bench for Town’s trip to Doncaster Rovers.

The 37-year-old provides extra competition for Cairns; something he relishes.

He said: “Matt is a great guy.

“He’s funny but also works really hard so he is getting the best out of me and Billy.

“I think as a goalkeeper it rarely changes if you get the number one spot.

“But with Gillo being here now it pushes me on and pushes you even further.

“That is what you want, I don’t want to just be settled.

“I want to go on with the next level, hopefully with this club and they are only going to benefit me and benefit them.

“I have worked with a lot of keepers during my time even though I did not have the match experience.

“But I think you try and take everything off each goalkeeper because, experience in this game, you cannot get enough of it.

“Different goalkeepers bring different ideas and Gillo brings a lot of experience, a calm head, and an influence in the dressing room so it is good to have him in.

“He’s only going to progress me and Billy. It is good to have him in.”