On transfer deadline day Linfield made a significant signing from QPR - 18 year old goalkeper Gareth Deane who is introduced now to Linfield supporters by the Director of the Linfield Academy, David Chisholm who spoke to Linfieldfc.com at Windsor Park last night while Gareth was making his debut fo the Swifts at Seaview.
"Gareth Deane was with us for 3 years at the Academy. Then he decided in his last year before he went to QPR, he needed some more serious game time, because when he was playing with us, he was only getting a handful of shots and hardly any sort of activity to deal with, so when he went to Hillsborough he really benefited from that spell there, as he certainly got his fair share of match action there. He's a former Junior Blue from Lisburn. He's a great lad, great character, brilliant family background. The kid's a real grafter. He's a real worker and very, very dedicated and he still harbours ambitions to go away across the water again. So far it hasn't happened for him and we've given him the opportunity here. Certainly, he'll play a lot of games for the Rangers here. We also believe he'll play a lot of games for the Swifts, depending obviously on the availability of Ross Glendinning and Alan Blayney. He played his first game for the Swifts at Seaview tonight because Ross is away with the U21 squad.
I think this is the right place at the right time for him because he can provide a serious challenge and threat to Ross and Alan.
He's come from full time football and he knows what it's all about. Possibly some times when kids come back from England, they're a little bit unsure of their future and that's probably what's happened to Gareth. He hasn't kicked a ball in earnest at club level since April.
He's a schoolboy and youth international. He was in the Milk cup Northern Ireland youth elite squad this summer up in the North West and he was number 2 keeper to Conor Devlin of Cliftonville, formerly of Man. Utd. I think he played the full Milk Cup game against Mexico.
Young goalkeepers tend to have problems in this country. How many managers will play a keeper of 17 or 18 years of age. They're usually looking for the ones who've got 3 or 4 years experience. As was once famously said "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step", so we think he's in the right place at the right time and under Jonny Williamson our goalkeeping coach and working with Ross Glendinning and Alan Blayney, we think he'll benefit immensely from the experience he'll get here."