BROWNE ON THE BALL: Did you hear the one about the Pole, the Slovakian and the German? How Spiess can aid the Boston United promotion charge

Max Stryjek.
Max Stryjek.

Did you hear the one about the Pole, the Slovakian and the German?

It sounds like this could be the start of a poor Bernard Manning set, but I’ll steer well clear of that tone in preference of discussing three of Boston United’s most recent goalkeepers.

Fabian Spiess.

Fabian Spiess.

The Pole was, of course, Maksymilian Stryjek; the brilliantly daring, brilliantly scary but quite brilliantly brilliant stopper who arrived on loan from Sunderland last season and, on any other day, would have saved the spot kicks which saw the Pilgrims book their place in the play-off final.

Henrich Ravas was the Slovakian, an enigma that would either win you the game or cost you a place in the cup depending on the sort of day he had.

But he certainly had enough good days to catch the eye of Derby County, paving the way for German-born Fabian Spiess to make his debut on Saturday.

Spiess’ clean sheet in that 2-0 victory at Curzon Ashton - the kind of ground-out soggy and boggy win that you need to register if you have hopes of being up there at the end of the season - owed as much to his defence reducing the Nash to predominantly speculative long-range efforts as it did his alertness on those occasions when the hosts did conjure up decent chances.

Henrich Ravas.

Henrich Ravas.

However, the players who lined up in front of Spiess this weekend were very quick to praise their new teammate, stating his ability to command his area and expertly deal with crosses gave them the confidence to concentrate on their games.

Strong links. Strong chain. You know how it goes.

The good news is that Spiess certainly looked the part. The great news is that he wants to lay down some roots in Boston after a frustrating period of travelling around looking for regular action - a journey that has taken him from the midlands to the west coast, to the south coast and back.

Of course, the 21-year-old who spent three days on trial at Liverpool has big dreams, but he knows the best way to fulfil them is by playing regular football.

This could be a relationship which suits both parties. Spiess can put himself in the shop window and United can put in a promotion challenge knowing that a crucial position is being confidently taken care of.

At a club where Paul Bastock was the one constant for so many years, it still feels strange to have seen 10 keepers turn out in the past four seasons.

Perhaps now Spiess can bring a sense of stability, not just to the teamsheet but to a defence who rely on a near-telepathic relationship with their number one.

Stryjek arrived at the Jakemans Stadium already destined for big things.

With the right coaching Ravas may now be going on to a whole new level of the game.

And if Spiess can continue to deliver like he did on his debut then he may also be set for higher levels of the game - and if he can help take United there along the way then that’s definitely a good thing.

The Pole, the Slovakian and the German: it’s anything but a joke.