Gareth Deane programme article

Posted : 12th March 2016

'Look at Linfield' this week spoke with goalkeeper Gareth Deane. The 21 year old from Lisburn was thrust into the spotlight in last week’s massive Irish Cup quarter final tie against Cliftonville at Solitude but came through his big cup test with flying colours. It was only Deane’s third appearance of the season but he showed a maturity beyond his years to deny the Reds on a number of occasions and preserve a precious clean sheet for the Blues.

“It was a really enjoyable experience for me and what a performance from the team, especially in the second half. It’s always good for a goalkeeper to get an early touch of the ball and I managed to make a good save from Davy McDaid in the first minute. That probably helped to settle me but the back four were just fantastic and they all helped me through the game.”

Gareth had a week to prepare for the game after regular goalkeeper Ross Glendinning was sent off in the recent game against Glenavon. He explained how the preparations went ahead of the big cup tie.

“It was a very long week for me ahead of the game. I was of course happy that I was going to get my chance but I was also disappointed for Ross who has enjoyed such a good season. I just had to concentrate on getting myself in the right frame of mind to play and I was really looking forward to it. I am just so pleased that it turned out so well for both myself and the team and the supporters really seemed to enjoy the occasion.”

His fine performance against Cliftonville has undoubtedly presented manager David Healy with quite a selection headache ahead of today’s Big Two clash with Glentoran.

“There is competition for places right throughout the squad at Linfield and the goalkeeper’s position is no different. There are high expectations at this club and you know that there is always a quality player ready to take your place. I have just tried to work hard and improve my game and the backroom staff assured me that my chance would come. Obviously Ross is available again this week but I hope I did enough against Cliftonville to give the manager a tough decision to make. If I don’t keep my place I will still be there supporting Ross as I have done all season.“

Gareth has come into the team at a crucial stage of the season with the team challenging for league and cup honours and a crucial European place.

“There seems to be a big game coming up every week but those are the games you want to play in. I don’t think that the league is over yet and we have to keep the pressure on Crusaders and hope that they slip up somewhere. We still have to face them again as well so it’s all to play for. The semi-final of the Irish Cup is also a big occasion to look forward to. I think the manager is really building something exciting at the club and it’s great to be part of it.”

Gareth was previously with the Linfield Academy before spending a few seasons in England with QPR. The former Junior Blue is very settled at the club but spoke about his hopes for the future.

“At the minute I am very content where I am and Linfield is my boyhood club. I have been supporting this club since I was a youth and, when I returned from England, there was only once club I was going to sign for. I can only concentrate on my career at Linfield and try to play my part in making this club successful again. If I can play well and develop with this club then who knows what the future might hold.”

Gareth certainly made a big impression at Solitude last week and, if selected today, we wish him all the best for his first 'Big Two' derby game.
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