Torquay United keeper Olejnik's decision is welcome news
By Western Morning News | Friday, February 17, 2012, 08:00
Torquay United manager Martin Ling has secured the long-term future of one of the club's most saleable assets, goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik, with a new two-and-half year contract.
Bobby Olejnik has extended his stay at Plainmoor. Picture by Pinnacle
Olejnik, 25, already had a deal which ran until the summer of 2013, but he has now agreed an improved contract which will not expire until 2014.
Torquay fans had feared that the former Aston Villa and Falkirk 'keeper might be snatched away in the recent January transfer window.
United managed to hang on to him then, and he and Ling have been talking over a longer commitment since.
Olejnik, born in Austria to Polish parents, has been one of the stars of Torquay's season so far, especially during their current run of 41 points out of 48.
During those 16 games, Olejnik has picked the ball out of his own net only seven times, three of them in the only defeat, 3-1 at Accrington Stanley. Tuesday's seventh successive win at Cheltenham Town (a 1-0 win) was his fourth clean-sheet in a row.
Ling, who has previously described Olejnik as the best goalkeeper he has ever managed, said: "We are building something special here, and a good goalkeeper is often the foundation for success in any team.
"We have a very good one – I've not see better in League Two. Aside from his assurance as a goalkeeper, Bobby is a terrific character, and a positive influence on everyone at the club."
Olejnik said: "The fact that I've only been here just over six months, and I already want to stay for longer, I think that says it all. I feel like a kid going to a new school with a smile on my face – I can't wait to get in each day.
"Normally, in these situations, you just look at what's best for your career, but I've got the best of both worlds – my private life is good and my career is going well here.
"There's a brilliant group of lads at the club, and obviously we've got a great run going.
"There's nothing that doesn't make me want to stay."
A solid performance by on-loan defender Angus MacDonald was one of the main bonuses for Ling in Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw at Tiverton Town.
MacDonald, 19, signed from Reading last week, made his first appearance in a Gulls' shirt at Ladysmead after being an unused substitute in both United's last two League matches.
"There were pleasing performances from Angus, which was good to see, and Danny Leadbitter at right-back," Ling said.
"The original plan had been to play a training game amongst ourselves behind closed doors, but I'm glad that we took the Tivvy game now, because it was more realistic and had a really good tempo.
"We played what you'd call our development squad – Martin Rice was the only player over 22 – and all of those players needed a good run-out, which they got."
A mistake by Rice helped Danny Clay to score Tiverton's goal, but United's reserve goalkeeper played well apart from that slip.
A cross by Lloyd Macklin set up Ray Spear to head United's equaliser.