Brechin City boss Andy Kirk has tipped highly-rated St Johnstone goalkeeper Jack Wills for a bright future despite a testing introduction to senior football.
Wills, 19, joined Brechin City on loan earlier this month and has been on the end of a 3-0 defeat against Premiership side Livingston and a 4-0 reverse at Raith Rovers.
The talented teenager had a moment to forget in Fife when he flapped at a high ball, allowing Lewis Vaughan to lash the opening goal into an empty net.
However, it should be noted that Wills made fine stops to deny Vaughan and James Keatings and, but for his interventions, the scoreline could have been far more damaging for the Highland League outfit.
Wills, who has previously spent time on loan with Edinburgh University, recently signed a new deal at McDiarmid Park until the summer of 2022 and has already been on the bench for the first-team.
And Kirk has been impressed by the stopper’s showings in the face of onerous opposition.
“Make no mistake, Jack has got real potential,” said Kirk. “He made a couple of really good saves, he is excellent with his feet — a real plus for modern goalkeepers — and has played well in the last three games.
“With the opening goal on Tuesday, Jack came and got involved when he maybe should have left it for Garry [Wood] — a little bit of a breakdown in communication.
“Garry could deal with the cross at the near-post, but then Jack comes and tries to punch and got it wrong. That happens and, unfortunately, when you are a goalkeeper little mistakes can cost you.
“But I’m not worried about things like that. It’s still pre-season effectively and Jack, like everyone else here, is in a brand new team and will get better and better.”
‘Personality, leadership and a winning mentality’
Kirk, meanwhile, confirmed that he is hopeful of securing a trio of new signings prior to Brechin’s Highland League opener against Turriff United on July 24.
“We only had three players on the bench at Stark’s Park and we are still looking to bring players in,” continued the former Hearts and Northern Ireland striker.
“We’ll be looking to get another goalkeeper in, and then maybe another two players on top of that. We shouldn’t be too far away at that point.
“We are trying to sign the right type of player and that might not always be the one with the best ability — we want certain characteristics that make them right for the squad; personality, leadership and a winning mentality.”