The Cobblers have signed highly-rated Reading goalkeeper Lewis Ward on a season-long loan.
The 21-year-old, who stands an imposing 6ft 4ins tall, is a product of the Royals Academy but has yet to make a first team appearance at the Madejski Stadium.
Ward has played senior football thanks to a series of loan spells, with the most successful being with Aldershot in the National League last season.
Signed in the January transfer window, Ward went on to help the Shots into the end-of-season play-offs.
He made 26 appearances while at Recreation Ground,keeping 10 clean sheets in that time, and conceding only 22 goals.
Ward won the Shots’ player of the month award for January, and saved three penalties - one in normal time and two in the shootout - as they were edged out by Ebbsfleet in the semi-final.
Ward’s other loan spells were with Sutton United, Margate and Hungerford Town, as well as Icelandic top flight team Fylkir, where he was managed by former Premier League defender Hermann Hreidarsson.
Reading consider Ward to be a real prospect, with the player signing a new two-year contract in May.