Gary Woods joins Doncaster Rovers
Posted by nickogs20 on March 26, 2009
Academy goalkeeper Gary Woods has left United to join Championship side Doncaster Rovers on a contract until the end of the 2009/10 season.
The 18 year-old stopper was released by United in December, but has continued to feature intermittently for the U18s – usually from the bench – in between stints out on trial as he sought a new club. Woods had spells at West Bromwich Albion and Tranmere Rovers and featured in reserve team games for those two clubs, but it is Doncaster Rovers who have secured his signature. The former England U18 international will join up with his new team-mates at the Keepmoat Stadium immediately, and has a contract until the summer of 2010.
Woods, born in Kettering, originally joined the Reds in November 2005 from Cambridge United as a 15 year-old, performing well enough as a schoolboy to earn a scholarship in the summer of 2007. As well as earning international recognition from schoolboy level up to U18, the teenage keeper made 24 appearances for the academy and three for the reserves (including one as a keeper) in his time at United, and featured for the first team in a pre-season fixture at Aberdeen in July 2008. His last game for the Reds came in Saturday’s goalless draw against Sheffield United at U18 level, allowing Gary to bow out with a clean sheet.
With Tom Heaton, Ben Amos and Ron-Robert Zieler ahead of Woods in the pecking order and strong competition emerging from Conor Devlin and Sam Johnstone, the decision to part company makes sense for both parties in many ways. A number of keepers who have failed to make the grade at Old Trafford have gone on to forge productive careers in the Football League in recent years – the likes of Tommy Lee, Ben Williams, Paul Rachubka, Nick Culkin and Kevin Pilkington should be sources of inspiration for Woods as he embarks on the next stage of his young career.