CANVEY Island look set to continue their habit of bringing talented goalkeepers to the club as they close on West Ham United starlet Danny Boness.
Boness, 17, is on a two-year scholarship at the Hammers having impressed for their under-16 side last season and made his debut for the Gulls in Tuesday night’s friendly win over an AFC Wimbledon XI, as he looks to gain experience.
The young keeper impressed on his debut, making some important saves to keep out the League Two side.
And Canvey boss Danny Heale believes Boness displays a lot of the qualities possessed by another former Canvey goalkeeper.
“The deal is about 95 per cent done,” said the Canvey boss. “We have been in talks with West Ham since the start of pre-season and I got a call on Monday saying Danny was available if we wanted to take a look at him.
“He played against AFC Wimbledon and he did really well. I see a lot of attributes in him that I saw in Josh last year and that is very encouraging as we know how well he did for us.”
Boness would follow in the footsteps of last year’s successful loan of Arsenal youngster Josh Vickers, who made 40 appearances between the sticks for Canvey and went on to win the Players’ Player of the Year trophy. He signed a professional contract on his return to Arsenal.
The Gulls have already signed 19-year-old ex-Gillingham stopper Sam Baxter, after he couldn’t break into the League One side’s first-team.
Boness began his football career at Ipswich Town aged nine and spent five years with the Tractorboys before moving to Luton Town. After that he went to Cambridge United, where he caught the eye of Football League side Colchester United. He joined them for six weeks before joining West Ham at the end of last season.
He played the last four games of West Ham’s under-16 season, concluding the season against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gulls have completed the signing of AFC Hornchurch right-back Tambeson Eyong. He played 58 minutes on Tuesday and will link up with the Gulls for the new campaign.
l Canvey defender John Easterford will miss Saturday’s friendly clash with Dartford.
The centre-back suffered an head injury against AFC Wimbledon and had to have seven stitches in a cut above his eye. He is expected to be fit for the start of the season.