Goalkeeper Dai-ing to make an impact at Peterborough United, just don’t mention his heroics in a penalty shootout for Cobblers at London Road

New Peterborough United goalkeeper Dai Cornell insists he couldn’t pass up a second opportunity to crack the Championship - a decade after he first experienced the second tier at close quarters.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:00 am
Dai Cornell saves a penalty for Cobblers against Posh in a Checkatrade Trophy tie shootout in 2017.

Dai Cornell insists he couldn’t pass up a second opportunity to crack the Championship - a decade after he first experienced the second tier at close quarters.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper’s arrival at the Weston Homes Stadium in the summer - he was the first Posh signing of the close season - didn’t generate the same levels of excitement as Jorge Grant or Jack Marriott, but don’t back against him making an impact.

It’s expected Christy Pym will be first choice ‘keeper at the start of the season, but Cornell has been signed to put pressure on the current number one.

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Dai Cornell celebrates a penalty shoot out win for Cobblers over Posh in 2017.

Cornell hasn’t made a Championship appearance in a career that started with a League Cup tie for his hometown club Swansea in 2009, but that doesn’t mean he’s unfamilar with one of the toughest competitions in world football.

“I sat on the bench for pretty much two seasons for Swansea when they were in the Championship,” Cornell revealed. “I saw close up how tough it was, but also how good the football was.

“I left on loan towards the end of the second season when we won promotion to the Premier League, but came back and was in the squad for games in that league as well. I was in the Swansea squad for Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game as Manchester United manager at Old Trafford.

“It was great just to be part of it all and to get the chance to do it again was just too good an opportunity to turn down.

Dai Cornell in action for Posh at Chelsea last month. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“I’m not here to be a substitute though. I will fight for the goalkeeper’s shirt and so will Christy.

“And whoever is picked will have the full support of his mate. Goalkeepers are generally good together. We’re pushing each other every day to work harder and get better. It’s always good to have healthy competition.

“It was an easy decision for me to come here once I’d met the manager.

“I made the decision to leave a great club in Ipswich Town at the end of last season. There was a lot going on there with the change of manager and owner so I never really settled, but I’m sure they’ll be a force again next season.”

Cornell had moved to Portman Road from Posh’s great rivals Northampton Town after helping them to promotion from League Two in the 2019-20 season.

Cornell didn’t start a game after February 25 in that season, but his form previous to that was a key factor in Cobblers establishing themselves in the top six.

“I got the chance to move to Ipswich at the end of that season,” Cornell added. “And it seemed like a good move at just the right time for me.

“I enjoyed my time at Northampton. I’m sure the fact I played for them won’t be a factor for how I’m viewed here. It won’t for my part for sure.

“I’ve settled in really well here. A great set of lads makes that easy.

“Getting away for a few days was a big help for a new player and the experience of playing against Chelsea was a great one.

“They were really good as you’d expect. Hopefully we won’t face anyone that good in the Championship!”

Cornell has made 175 first-team appearances in his career. He played just once for Cobblers against Posh in a Trophy tie at London Road. Cornell saved penalties from Marriott and Andrew Hughes as Cobblers won a shootout 4-2.