Gareth Deane programme article

Posted : 8th April 2017

Linfield goalkeeper Gareth Deane spoke to ‘Look at Linfield’ during the week and spoke of his delight at committing his future to the club, after signing a three-year contract extension which takes effect from the end of this season.

“I'm thrilled to commit to another three years to the club. I'd always hoped to have an opportunity to commit to the club long term and this contract will hopefully give me the chance to prove to the manager and supporters that I can step up when called upon.”

Deane, a former Junior Blue, says he had no doubts about where he wanted to play his football. The 22 year-old from Lisburn supported Linfield as a boy and has made six first team appearances this season, including the County Antrim Shield final success over Crusaders.

“I could never see myself committed to any other club apart from Linfield. It was my childhood ambition to play for Linfield at Windsor Park and win trophies. At the start of the season, the manager said he would need every player in his squad and it has been great to have been given the opportunity to step up when called upon.”

Despite being the second choice goalkeeper, Deane is benefitting enormously in terms of learning off a goalkeeper who has played at the very top level of the game across a prolonged career in Roy Carroll.

“Roy has taught me what it is to be a top professional. He has been very encouraging and supportive and I have gained so much from his help and advice throughout the season.”

The Blues come into today’s game off the back of an Irish Cup semi-final win over a battling Dungannon Swifts team and Deane believes the team now have a platform to build on and make amends for last year, after losing out in the final to Glenavon.

“The game against Dungannon was a tough game but a massive boost for us. Roy Carroll showed his quality and class, by pulling off that late wonder save just before Stephen Lowry popped up with the last minute winner to fire us into an Irish Cup final encounter with Coleraine on May 6. Last year's cup final was a real disappointment for everyone associated with the club and hopefully, this year we can make amends and bring the Irish Cup trophy back to Windsor.”

Linfield go into today’s vital league encounter with Crusaders knowing a win would close the gap at the top to just one point, with four games remaining. Just six weeks ago the gap was nine points at the top and Linfield have worked hard to get themselves right back into contention and as a result, Gareth views today’s game as an opportunity that we can and will aim to take.

“We firmly believe we can win today. We have proven that we can compete with Crusaders. Obviously, the match will be massive but so is every game here at Linfield. The mood is very positive but we are just focusing on one game at a time. We always believed we could turn things around and now, we have a chance to do that so we will aim to make the most of it.”

Best wishes to Gareth and the rest of the squad for what is sure to be an enthralling climax to the season, starting today against title rivals Crusaders. Hopefully, Gareth will add at least one more medal to his collection this season.
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