Since the inception of the original Charles Saunders FC in the late 90's Goal Keeper has always been a problem position. Saunders were never able to tie down a long term specialist keeper and as a rule the player who was most hung over or injured from Saturday would be forced to don the gloves.
Toward the end of the Saunders era experienced defenders Greg Turner and Craig Sutton would take turns, sometimes swapping mid match. Midfielders Jamie Dooley and Dean Carnavalle as well as Striker Justin Danials have all taken a shift between the sticks. "Big" Steve Blackwell, former County League Keeper briefly seemed to have solved the problem in a dominant month long stint before retirement, but family life tore him away. The hunt for a keeper continued.
The answer to the problem was ironically solved during a goal keeping nightmare. Greg "2 Sugars" Turner was in goal recovering from a groin strain and portly Centre back Chris Bessex was taking his goal kicks for him, during a punted kick the chubby funster caught a stud in the ground and ripped his thigh mussel. Without any subs Turner was forced to risk playing in defence while the hobbling Bessex kept goal in a battling one all draw.
10 years of 5 a side football three times a week and games on Saturday and Sunday took their toll on Bessex who was eventually forced to undergo surgery to clear the damaged bone. This opened the door for Tony "Brucie" Little to take a large section of the season in goal. Claiming to be a specialist goalkeeper "Brucie" soon became a fans favourite by celebrating every save like he was stunned he made it. Occasionally AFCK fans would be forced to laugh as a rebound was tucked away while their goalie was celebrating his initial save. After squeezing 15 years of David James specials in to 15 games Bruce was allowed to join Blackhorse Boys as GK coach. Richey Evans also took on the mantle for a few games before moving to Spartans FC.
After a string of injuries and a few short outfield comeback attempts Bessex was condemned to the thankless job as the AFC Keynsham goal keeper. After an initial stint of a clanger a match the Brislinton Silverback has balanced his form to at least be considered a reasonable stopper. This was acknowledged by his team mates when he picked up the 2008/09 most improved player award. The 2009/10 season saw Bessex pull on the first ever AFC Keynsham Goal keepers' jersey after 10 years of an old Nike training top being passed off was brought to an end. When the Vanilla Gorilla is unavailable Mike Swanson has donned the gloves, the left back happy to confirm that it is not a very nice job.
Let's hope the long term future of the Mighty K's last line of defence is in safe hands.