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Age in no barrier for new Crawley keeper
Goalkeeper Brian Jensen insists age is not an issue after becoming Crawley’s second signing of the summer.
Jensen, who turns 39 next month, agreed a one-year deal yesterday to replace former No.1 Paul Jones and Jonny Maddison who were released at the end of last season.
The Danish keeper played in the Premier League for both West Brom and Burnley but is aware question marks will be raised about whether he is too old to play at League One level.
But Jensen points to the fact the likes of Brad Freidel and Mark Schwarzer are both still performing for Tottenham and Chelsea in their 40s as a sign that goalkeepers are able to continue playing for longer.
Jensen said: “I am not stupid. I will know when to put the gloves down if I don’t think I am good enough or fit enough to keep playing at the standard I want.
“I think it all comes down to how fit you are and how you look after yourself. With all the things like pilates and sport science nowadays it is easier to keep in shape and add a few years to your career.
“I hardly missed a training session at Bury last season and once I got in the team I played most of the games so I know I can still do a job.
“Obviously I am going to make mistakes every now and again because all goalkeepers do and people might say it is because of my age but I don’t accept that and the fact I have been there before means I will be able to get over those kind of things more quickly.
“Experience never harmed anybody so if I stay in good shape then my age could actually make me a better goalkeeper.”
Jensen is the second signing manager John Gregory has made this summer – following midfielder Jimmy Smith – as he rebuilds a squad which had just five senior players a couple of weeks ago.
The 38-year-old arrives with an impressive CV having played more than 300 games during his ten years at Burnley, including 38 in the Premier League in 2009-10.
The 6ft 1in stopper – nicknamed the Beast due to his size – played just eight games for Burnley in his final two seasons at Turf Moor but proved he still has plenty to offer by being named player of the season at Bury last year.
Jensen added: “I wanted to prove to people (at Bury) that I could still do it regardless of my age and I think I did that with my performances. After all age is just a number.
“I was so grateful to get the opportunity to play at Bury to remind people I was still involved in football and was not thinking of retiring.
“I had a great year there and now I have another great opportunity to play for Crawley at a higher level.
“It is going to be tough being away from my family but I promised I would not make the same mistake as last summer when I waited and waited before making a decision. This time I said from the start that whoever came in for me first would have first choice and I didn’t have to think twice when it was Crawley.”
Gregory is delighted with his latest acquisition and believes both his size and experience will be vital assets next season.
The Reds boss said: “We are very fortunate to have Brian. He is a real character and I think he will be a big hit with the supporters.
“He is very experienced and the key thing is that he has the hunger and desire to keep playing. He joined Bury as back-up last season and ended up as the double player of the season so I’m delighted we’ve been able to sign him.”
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