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OFFICIAL: Turnbull signs, Hilario agrees new deal


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Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on a free transfer.

The 24-year-old joins us from Middlesbrough, and has signed a four-year contract.

Turnbull was available on a free after his contract expired at the Riverside Stadium, opting to head south to Stamford Bridge rather than sign a new deal in the north east following Boro's relegation.

He joins He joins Petr Cech and Hilario in the Chelsea first team squad, working under the guidance of goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon.

Hilario, 33, has also signed a new two-year deal with the club today that will run until 2011.

An England youth international, Ross was born in Bishop Auckland and came through the ranks at Middlesbrough, making his league debut in May 2006 in a 1-1 draw against Bolton.

Prior to that there had been temporary spells with Darlington, Barnsley, Bradford and Crewe, sides that would have noticed his impressive FA Youth Cup form as Boro reached the Final in 2002/03, beaten by Manchester United.

Another loan spell at Cardiff City was cut short due to injuries in late 2007 as the youngster stepped in for Mark Schwarzer, playing in Boro's 2-1 win over Arsenal. At the end of that campaign, the Australian announced he was leaving for Fulham, meaning Turnbull and Brad Jones would fight it out for the number one spot for the 2008/09 campaign.

Initially it was Jones given the nod by Gareth Southgate, but when he injured himself in the warm-up before the second league game of the season, Turnbull stepped in, keeping his place until the turn of the year.

His last Middlesbrough appearance came against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back at the end of January when he was beaten by two Salomon Kalou goals. The 6'4 stopper had earlier been in the line-up when we ran out 5-0 winners at the Riverside in October.

In total, Ross made 29 appearances for Middlesbrough, in addition to 67 for his various loan clubs.

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But doesn't this move signal a lack of ambition for a 24 yr old keeper? Let's face it, he really has almost no chance of displacing Cech from his no.1 spot..

exactly, would of like to have see us sign a 18-20 year old keeper.

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That he left the drowned Boro and comes to a big club like Chelsea is not a lack of ambition, but in contrary a step to up his carreer. Don´t forget that he is just 24. Goalies are much longer around than any other players. So, he takes up experience and then maybe moves on to another club when feeling more confident...

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I'm more glad about Hilario staying than Turnbull signing. Hilario is a wonderful professional, and performs admirably whenever he fills in for us. I believe I'm not mistaken in saying we've only ever lost one game with him in goal - against Spurs in November 2006. He's also a very nice guy and wonderful person to have at the club.

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