Chris Maxwell knows his distribution from the back is a major strength – and reckons there is no reason every goalkeeper can’t master it.
And Maxwell is entirely comfortable with the ball at his feet – just like Jed Steer, who was recalled by Aston Villa at the start of this month.
“Modern-day goalkeepers need to be good with their feet – it is a big part of the game and something that has changed drastically in that position in the last 10 or 15 years,” said the former Fleetwood, Wrexham and Cambridge United stopper. “I’ve worked on it really hard since a young age.
“It’s my belief that is the way the game should be played – goalkeepers are becoming more of an outfield player. It allows a team to play through the thirds.
“The practise thing is massive. A lot of what a goalkeeper does is reactive, and there are possibly only two things you can work on – which are distribution and then your strength and power. There are no excuses for a goalkeeper not to be strong in those areas.”
Maxwell started the campaign in goal for Preston, but had not featured since November. Declan Rudd, another loan signing by the Addicks in recent years, has displaced him between the posts.
The former Wales U23 international did not want to go into detail over his exit from North End.
“I’m only looking forward now,” he said. “I’m looking forward to Charlton Athletic and helping them get promoted. I’m a Charlton Athletic player until May – that’s all I’m focused on.”
Having been at Championship level since the summer of 2016, did he have any reservations about dropping back a division?
“No, not at all,” he replied. “Listen, Charlton is a massive football club. It’s very high-profile and certainly shouldn’t be in League One. It only took five minutes of research that this was a chance to be part of something successful.
“I’d never been to Charlton and I’d never been to The Valley. I think I joined Preston the year that Charlton went down.
“So when I came here, I was taken aback by the stadium and the facilities. The welcome I had from the staff was fantastic.
“The squad here is very strong and the style of play suits me down to the ground. The manager rang me up and I’m looking forward to working with him and the rest of the staff. It was a no-brainer. I’m really excited.
“The expectation from the fans and the club is that everything is geared towards promotion – by hook or by crook we have got to do that.”
Dillon Phillips has come back into the Charlton side for the last two matches since Steer’s sudden departure.
The plan seems to be for the academy product to sign a new deal – his current one only runs until the end of June – and then be loaned out for regular action.
Maxwell has played right down to National League level – winning a League Two promotion with the Cod Army along with a clean sweep of the Player of the Year awards there in the 2014-15 season.
But he has had no promises that he will come straight into the South Londoners’ side.
“That’s not been spoken about. And I don’t think it should be said either. You’re not a successful team with just 11 players – there are 25 in a squad, and every single one of them needs to be champing at the bit to play.