Gareth Deane programme article

Posted : 2nd February 2019

Linfield goalkeeper Gareth Deane was thrust into the spotlight after regular goalkeeper Roy Carroll picked up a season-ending cruciate injury. This provides a great opportunity for Deane to make the number one jersey his own for the remainder of the season but he told ‘Look at Linfield’ that everyone is gutted for popular International goalkeeper 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, by learning off him. We are all gutted for him and everyone will hope to see him back I’m sure, because with the career he’s had, he deserves to go out on a high. Having him around benefits not only me, but the other players too and he’s loved by everyone at Windsor Park.”

A former member of the Junior Blues, Lisburn native Deane grew up supporting The Blues and is as determined as ever, to carve a bright future for himself at Windsor Park.

“When I left QPR in 2012, I had interest from clubs in Scotland, but there was only one club that I wanted to sign for after that. I rang David Jeffrey and was straight back at Linfield. I have supported this club growing up and Windsor Park is where I want to be. That’s why I’ve been so patient and want to succeed here so much.”

Prior to the midweek signing of Conor Mitchell, Gareth was Linfield’s only available senior goalkeeper and he fully expected another top class goalkeeper to arrive before the transfer window closed, to provide competition. Deane hopes that he’s done enough in his two starts to keep his spot, saving a penalty in a 2-0 win at Newry and having started in Monday’s ‘Big Two’ derby victory.

“The Irish Cup has always been huge for Linfield, so this game really is important for us. I have a chance now and I want to take it and stay in the team, although it is certain that there will be a goalkeeper coming in this week, to provide competition for places and ensure we are covered in the goalkeeping department for the rest of the season. I hope I’ve done enough for a start against Crusaders. I’ve worked very hard and had to be patient over the years, so this is an important time for me.”

Linfield have won all three of their matches against Crusaders this season, including a 1-0 win at Seaview a fortnight ago. 24-year-old Deane believes Crusaders will be out to set down a marker for the business end of the season but The Blues have belief in their ability to keep their great run of form going.

“We have so much to play for and we can only take it one game at a time, so we’re not even thinking about the County Antrim Shield final. We have done well against Crusaders so far this season and that gives us belief, but I’m sure they’ll be out to show why they’re reigning champions. You know when you play Crusaders, you’ll need to be on your game defensively and I hope I can play a part. We were very disappointed to go out in the Quarter-Final last season and will want to do better this year. The way we won against Glentoran was another boost for us, because after starting the second half poorly and suffering a setback, the lads still managed to turn it around again to win 4-2. Similarly, cup competitions are about winning and progressing and doesn’t matter how you do it. We’ve been good at home this season and hopefully, with the backing of the fans again, we can keep that form going.”

Best wishes to Gareth and the team for an exciting last few months of the season, as Linfield continue to fight on all fronts, starting with today’s tough Irish Cup sixth round clash against Stephen Baxter’s Crusaders.
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