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Cudicini's my hero, says Walker

PUBLISHED: 16:30 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 07 September 2010

RICHMOND-UPON-THAMES, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 17:  Jimmy Walker of West Ham in action during the Pre Season Friendly match between Hamtpon & Richmond Borough FC and West Ham United at Beveree Stadium on July 17, 2008 in Richmond-upon-Thames, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

RICHMOND-UPON-THAMES, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 17: Jimmy Walker of West Ham in action during the Pre Season Friendly match between Hamtpon & Richmond Borough FC and West Ham United at Beveree Stadium on July 17, 2008 in Richmond-upon-Thames, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

NEW signing Jimmy Walker has revealed that goalkeeping rival Carlo Cudicini is a personal hero as he aims to oust the Italian in the coming weeks. Walker was handed a contract last week, joining on a free transfer...

By Ben Pearce

NEW signing Jimmy Walker has revealed that goalkeeping rival Carlo Cudicini is a personal hero as he aims to oust the Italian in the coming weeks.

Walker was handed a contract last week, joining on a free transfer after chairman Daniel Levy refused to pay for Portsmouth's David James at the end of the transfer window.

That left Tottenham with just one fit senior stopper, Cudicini, but 36-year-old free agent Walker has come in after being released by West Ham.

He is likely to be on the bench on Saturday against Manchester United, ready to replace a personal idol if necessary.

"Cudicini was a bit of a hero of mine, I always looked up to him when I was playing at Walsall and he was at Chelsea," said the new recruit.

"It's great to be working with these people. I haven't worked with [Heurelho] Gomes yet because he's had that injury, but he seems like a top man. He bounced back from a shaky start and showed what character he's got."

Walker may be dispirited to learn that, according to Spurs' official website, he has been signed "as goalkeeping cover", but he insists he is a contender for a first-team place.

"Goalkeeper is a unique position. There's a keeper's union and rightly so, but you all want that place, there's no doubt about it - you all want to be playing," he said.

"Whoever's playing, as long as he's on his toes and playing well, we'll keep him on his toes. If he's playing, then he'll have to be playing well to keep ahead of us."

Walker made his name at Walsall, where he spent 11 years, making 470 appearances and winning three promotions.

In 2004 he moved to West Ham and was a key figure in the 2005 promotion success, but unfortunately injured himself badly in the final minutes of the victorious play-off final.

Roy Carroll and Rob Green emerged to take his place, and Walker's last competitive action came during a loan spell at Colchester United.


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