BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ben Amos has admitted he is in the dark over his future – but has hailed Lee Turner for helping him rediscover top form during his loan at Charlton Athletic.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper was a star performer for the Addicks during his season-long stay from Bolton Wanderers.
And Amos feels that Turner, who recently quit Charlton to take up the same role at Millwall, played a key part in the consistency he showed in SE7.
The former Manchester United shotstopper still has 12 months to run on his deal at Bolton. But the Lancashire outfit have loaned him out to Cardiff and the Addicks in the past two seasons.
Asked about his future, Amos said: “I’ll be very, very honest with you – I have no idea.
“I’ve not spoken to anyone at the club. I imagine it will be a similar situation to last season, where I’m expecting not to go away with them in pre-season. I’m expecting games to be played, that kind of thing. I’m ready for all of that.
“I’ve said it before but I have got so much trust in my agent James Featherstone – he is one of the very best. He has got a great moral compass in an industry where that is hard to come by. So I’ll leave all that in his capable hands. I’m ready to go in every day, whether that is training with the first team or the under-18s I’ll give it my all every day, as I always will.
“I didn’t really get a pre-season under my belt last season because Bolton did not take me away with the first-team. I was training with the under-23s. It probably took me three or four weeks under LT’s guidance to get up to match fitness.
“After that I feel like I grew every day. We worked tirelessly each day on little things, just fine-tuning. He was keen to help me improve and I felt that happened every day. I had the same feeling when I worked with him for a little bit at Bolton.
“I am a lot clearer about what I am all about and how I need to play if I want to do well.
“Before this season I’d had five goalkeeping coaches in two or three years and they all had very contrasting views on goalkeeping. They all had quite a lot of power about who plays. I’ve had to adapt and adjust my game, and not necessarily how I want to play in order to play matches. A lot of those ways didn’t suit me.”
One of the most high-profile goalkeepers Turner has worked with is Nick Pope – who has gone from a back-up option at Charlton to England’s World Cup squad.
“Your goalkeeping coach is really important,” said Amos. “I can only speak for myself, but it’s important for me to have a good working relationship with them.
“We don’t have to be friends. But Lee is a good person and we got along well. In terms of Lee’s ability as a goalkeeper coach, I consider him the best I’ve come across – just in terms of the way he thinks and the game; his approach and detail. You also need to add in his ability – he strikes the ball a lot better than players I have come across. At almost 50, that is testament to him.”
Amos kept 14 clean sheets in 46 League One matches.
And there was little he could do to prevent the Addicks seeing their League One play-off final dreams ended by Shrewsbury over two legs in May.
“Going into work was an absolute pleasure and that is a big thing for me,” said Amos. “I want to enjoy what I’m doing and that still applied even when we were up against it and things were not going our way. From my experience, you can’t always say that for a lot of clubs.
“Losing in the play-offs was devastating. I can say first-hand that there was nothing the players wanted more than to win at Wembley. It’s all we talked about. I don’t know if we over-thought it or wanted it too much, because that can happen in football.
“Having said that, I know we didn’t do enough and didn’t deserve it. It was an uphill task to get in there in the first place but with the momentum we gained it felt like nothing could stop us.
“We had a poor performance at Rochdale, there were a lot of changes made, and from there we never really got going again. I’m not really sure why.”
So could Amos be back at Charlton in the future?
“I wouldn’t rule anything out, to be honest with you. I’ve said it is the most enjoyable season for me, even with all the ups and downs. It is such a great club and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
“But my honest answer is I don’t know, I don’t want to say things that aren’t true. But I think I’d be very privileged to play for Charlton again – whether that is this season or the future.”
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