The 21-year-old Pears spent last season at Gateshead where he cleaned up at their end of season awards, and having spent the past week in Austria with the first team, head coach Jonathan Woodgate says it’s important the goalkeeper continues to play regular football.

“It was important to get Tommy in because I needed a number two,” said Woodgate. “It’s also important that Aynsley Pears goes out and plays games.

“It’s no good him sitting on the bench, he needs to go play football, so we’ll look to loan Aynsley out which wil be good for him.

“When I spoke to him about it we were on the same page and we spoke with Danny Coyne as well. He’s a talented kid who wants to work had and has been brilliant on this trip, but he needs to play.”

While Pears will head out to continue his development, Woodgate says the three remaining young goalkeepers will have the opportunity to train and travel with the senior squad if they impress.

“Fighting for third spot will be Sol Brynn, Brad James, and Zach Hemming,” said the head coach. “And whoever is the best will travel with the first team and be part of the squad.”

Mejias described his return to the club as “coming home” and Woodgate says he expects the goalkeeper to push Darren Randolph, and help the younger players.

“Tommy has been good for the football club, that’s why I brought him back,” said Woodgate.

“It’s not just on the field, but off it as well. He has one of those personalities. He’s good in the changing room, knows all the players, and he will push Darren.

“Without a doubt, Darren is the best goalkeeper in the league, but we’ve got Tommy here now to push him and bring on younger goalkeepers.”