Whitehead Completes Tranmere Loan Deal

Last updated : 28 September 2002 By Rob Cooper

Phil Whitehead
Phil Whitehead
Despite being first-choice Royals shotstopper ever since his £300,000 signing from West Brom in October 1999 Phil Whitehead found himself dropped from the team this season in favour of Marcus Hahnemann.

The 33-year-old has spoken publically about his desire to leave the Madejski Stadium if he isn't getting first team football, has joined Tranmere Rovers on a one month loan deal.

In recent matches there hasn't even been a place on the bench for Whitehead, Alan Pardew has chosen to use 16-year-old academy player Jamie Young instead.

Tranmere boss Ray Mathias was relieved to sign a goalkeeper prior to their clash with Stockport tomorrow, injuries to John Achterberg (concussion) and number two Keith Welch (dislocated shoulder) had left the Pratton Park based side alarmingly short.

Whitehead will go straight into the team for tomorrow's game.

It is not yet known if there is any chance of the deal becoming permanent, however Whitehead is unlikely to ever play for Reading again.

Meanwhile, young goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown has returned to the club after completing a one-month loan spell at Third Division Bournemouth. The 21-year-old, who played on loan at Arsenal last season, will be on the bench for the visit of Stoke City tomorrow.