Harvey James Duke "Harry" Isted is Charlton's first signing ahead of next season. He will replace Joe Wollacott who has left to join Hibernian in search of first team football.
Harry is 26 years old and, despite being brought up in Chichester, began his career in 2016 in the youth team at Stoke City. After his release in 2017 he joined Luton Town and has been a Luton player ever since.
In his six year stay he only made three League appearances for The Hatters and spent most of his time out on loan in non-league football at Chesham United, Oxford City and Wealdstone. He made 44 appearances at those three clubs between 2017 - 2021.
However he did make one other memorable appearance for Luton when he was called off the bench to replace Jed Steer in a fifth round cup tie against Chelsea in March 2022. Although Luton lost the tie 2-3 Isted was credited with a "worldie performance", including a brilliant save from a Romalu Lukaku shot. Regular first team keeper James Shea said:
"He’s a good goalkeeper Harry, he’s a very, very good goalkeeper. He trains well every single day, he works hard, he just wanted the chance, he got his chance against Chelsea and he took it."
In January this year he joined Barnsley on loan and played nineteen games for them in their run to the play-off final against Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley in May. Although on the losing side he earned many plaudits as the BBC website report of the game evidences:
"Luton loanee Isted, who made a good save in the first half from Dominic Iorfa, pulled off a miraculous stop from Smith from close range and then got down brilliantly to turn Bannan's effort around the post."
Harry will compete with Ashley Maynard-Brewer to be first choice keeper for the 2023-24 season. Maynard-Brewer is two years younger but is slightly ahead in terms of League experience (26 games for Charlton and 17 for Ross County). Is experience so important ? Dillon Phillips had played only eight League games for us before he established himself in the 2018-19 promotion winning team and was subsequently an ever-present in The Championship. Since leaving Charlton three seasons ago he has played only 33 games for Cardiff and none last season, which he ended on loan at Oostende.
The signing of Harry Isted should fulfil Dean Holden’s wish for a challenge for places and promises to be an interesting battle to watch. Hopefully a win for Charlton whoever emerges the victor.