By Giuseppe Muro
Tony Roberts believes Dagenham & Redbridge is the ideal place for James Shea to continue his promising development this season.
The young goalkeeper has moved to Victoria Road for the duration of the 2011/12 campaign where, ironically, he will challenge for the vacant No 1 spot left by the recently retired Roberts.
The 41-year-old, who is Dagenham’s all-time record appearance holder and has nurtured Shea’s talent during his time coaching the Academy, knows both parties well. He feels the move will be hugely beneficial for the Arsenal youngster.
“I know the manager at Dagenham very well and I know how they play,” Roberts told Arsenal.com.
“It will be a completely different game for him. There will be balls thrown into the box and there will be decisions he will have to make.
“That is what stands out with good goalkeepers - the amount of good decisions they make. We’ve got every confidence in him.
“I’ve been with him for four years now and I think, personally, he is going to be a very good goalkeeper. For his career now, he is ready [for a loan] and he knows the game.”
The 20-year-old was given a taste of life on loan during a short spell with Southampton last season and Roberts is confident Shea will have no problems getting to grips with the demands of League football.
“I’ve showed him things that I have done for Dagenham and my experiences but he needs to go and get his experience now.
“I took Wojciech and James to watch me play a game a couple of years ago to explain to them that everything is not like it is at Arsenal.
"There are small grounds, the pitches are different, the style of football is different and I try and teach them to learn everything.
“He will be fine, we saw with Wojciech when he went out. I think James can do just as well.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Aug 2011