Who is David Cornell? Peterborough United’s new shot-stopper and first signing of the summer was dropped by Cobblers and Ipswich Town, but picked up by Posh!

On Monday (June 28) Posh announced that goalkeeper David Cornell had become their first signing of the summer.

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 11:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 11:10 am
David Cornell in action for Northampton (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
David Cornell in action for Northampton (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old Welshman is believed to have been approached by the club some time ago and was first revealed to Posh fans when a photo of him in pre-season training with the squad emerged online last week!

At the start of the summer, Posh were keen to stress that they were backing Christy Pym as their number one this season and the signing of Cornell suggests that nothing about that plan has changed.

He signed for the club on a free transfer after having his Ipswich contract cancelled by mutual consent last season.

Wayne Rooney celebrated after scoring past Cornell in the EFL Cup (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Cornell made 15 appearances for Paul Cook’s side last season, 10 in the league and five across the EFL Cup, Trophy and FA Cup, four of the five ties ended in defeat.

He kept four clean sheets and ended the season as Ipswich’s number one, appearing in the last four league matches.

After a series of unconvincing displays, and 3-0 defeats to both AFC Wimbledon and Northampton in April, Ipswich fans turned against regular keeper Tomas Holy who was left out for the run-in as The Tractor Boys completed a ninth-place finish, five points outside the play-offs. Holy played in both matches against Posh.

But Cornell’s late entry into the starting line-up was no sign of things to come as he was then told that his opportunities would be limited if he stayed at Portman Road and both parties mutually agreed to tear up his contract, which had a year left to run.

Career so far

By making the move to Posh, Cornell joins the list of players to have played for the clubs on both sides of the Nene derby; the most recent player since Ivan Toney.

Cornell spent four seasons at Northampton, but only became the number one in his third. He was ever-present in 2018/19 and played in 34 league matches in 2019/20. He lost the number one jersey to Steve Arnold just two games before lockdown, however, and remained on the bench when football returned and Northampton were successful in gaining promotion via the play-offs.

Before that, he began his career with Swansea in his homeland and often goes by the name Dai, which is Welsh for David. Cornell made just one League Cup appearance for the Swans between 2009 and 2015 and spent largely unremarkable spells out on loan at Port Talbot, Hereford, St Mirren and Portsmouth.

He then joined Oldham on a free transfer in 2015, making 17 appearances before Northampton picked him up for free the following year.

He has been capped by Wales at Under 17, 19 and 21 level and received call ups to the senior side in both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, he failed to make the matchday sqaud for a friendly against Scotland and in 2010 did make the squad, but was an unused substitute in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Austria.

Where will he fit in?

Cornell is 6”2 according to www.Soccerbase.com, which is two inches taller than Pym, but still short of the tall, commanding goalkeeper Posh had previosuly hinted they would look to sign.

There has been much surprise among Ipswich fans after hearing their former ‘keeper has made the step-up to the Championship, but he has played 175 senior games so has plenty of Football League experience.

This is something Posh have deemed essential for their back-up going into the Championship after spending last season with untested Dan Gyollai in reserve.

The 24-year-old keeper has still yet to make a Football League appearance and was not trusted when Pym was injured, with the club instead using the emergency loan market to sign Josef Bursik from Stoke.

Darragh MacAnthony has said he expects Cornell to push Pym for the number one spot, while the player himself has vowed not to settle for second best.

MacAnthony said: “He has great experience. He’s played a lot of Football League games and he will be a great addition to our goalkeeping corps. He will push Christy Pym for the number one spot.”

Cornell added: “When I heard about the interest, it was a move that excited me straight away. To potentially play at Championship level is exciting and it is one that I am really looking forward to. I want to come in, work hard and get settled as quickly as I can. I want to come in and challenge for that number one position.”