Cambridge United are pleased to confirm the permanent signing of goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle on a two year deal.
The former Liverpool and Barnet shotstopper arrives at the Abbey to complete the U’s goalkeeping unit for the 2020/21 campaign, improving the competition for United’s number one shirt alongside Dimitar Mitov and Callum Burton.
At six foot seven inches, the 22-year old adds a substantial physical presence to Cambridge United’s goalkeeper union and has already had time to settle into his new environment having been on trial with the Football Club for the second half of August, playing in the U’s pre-season fixture against West Ham United during that period.
Beginning his career within the youth ranks at Tottenham Hotspur, he joined Barnet at under 14 level and progressed all the way through to making his first team debut for the Bees in 2015. Since then a successful trial with Liverpool led to two-year spell with the Reds, where he featured for their Under 23s. He has also received international honours, having represented Guyana on five occasions.
McKenzie-Lyle’s decision to pen to paper at the Abbey has now confirmed his permanent position at Cambridge United, where he aims to establish himself at Football League level. He will continue to work under the stewardship of Goalkeeper Coach Mark Bunn.
Pleased to be a U, the goalkeeper commented: “I’m delighted to be a part of the Football Club. The trial was great, I’ve loved every minute about being back in a training ground environment with the rest of the team.
“As soon as I arrived, it felt like a well-run Club with good people, and that is always the thing you look for first. It is a tight knit bunch between the goalkeepers here, as is often the case when you work with each other every day. Myself, Dimi (Mitov), Callum (Burton) have pushed each other on every day of pre-season so far. That has been positive, and already Mark Bunn has been good to learn from.
“For me, it feels like the stage in my career where I want to be kicking on, building up a good number of League games and showing everyone what I’m about. Cambridge United feels like the perfect place to do that.”
Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner added: “Kai has performed well in training during a short trial period with us and is deserving of this opportunity. He has lots of potential and will create healthy competition daily with our goal keepers under Mark Bunn’s guidance.
“He will likely gather his game development on loan in the first instance whilst training with us and trying to force his way into the team throughout his time here. We are pleased to add a player with his potential to our squad as we have highlighted the need for an additional goal keeper in our planning from the outset to challenge the existing two professionals and to create the right number of players to facilitate the type of training environment we need.”
Kai McKenzie-Lyle will wear Cambridge United’s number 13 shirt for the 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two season.