Roy Carroll programme article

Posted : 17th December 2016

Roy Carroll has enjoyed a distinguished career. The Fermanagh native has marshalled the sticks for some European giants including Manchester United, Rangers and Olympiacos, as well as representing his country on 44 occasions. Yet at the age of 39, he’s as passionate about the game as ever and enjoying life at Linfield.

“I’ve played in many leagues in my time and I’m really enjoying it at Linfield. The one thing I’ve realised about the Irish league is the competitiveness of it, especially for us as everyone will raise their game to play Linfield.”

For the first time in Roy’s career he is playing for a club which is not in full-time training, but Carroll says it’s not far off it as Linfield train three nights a week. The veteran goalkeeper also does drills of his own during the day to keep himself in sharp condition.

“As a full-time professional you would train four times a week, at Linfield we train three nights a week, so when you think about it there’s not much difference. However, I do some bits and bobs of my own during the week to keep myself in good shape because when you get to my age you have to do extra work. Linfield is a professional club and the gaffer is doing everything very professionally.”

Carroll isn’t looking ahead of the next game in terms of his future, but he has been impressed by upcoming goalkeeper Gareth Deane who filled in at Ards last week and kept another clean sheet, Deane’s 10th clean sheet in 14 appearances for Linfield with only five goals conceded.

“At my age you just take each year as it comes and keep focusing on the next game, that’s what football is all about. I don’t want to prepare too far ahead of myself, so we’ll just see what happens. Since I’ve been here I’ve seen Gareth Deane in training and in a few games and I’ve seen that he’s got the quality and a great kick on him. As a young ‘keeper, you need belief and he has that in him. Hopefully, he can learn from me and the way I speak to the players on the pitch. You need to be mentally tough and always in control and you find at Linfield there will be games where you don’t have much to do but you must concentrate for the whole 90 minutes.”

Linfield’s number one is hoping for another three points this afternoon to keep up the momentum going into the crucial festive period, with games against Glentoran on Boxing Day and Crusaders on New Year's Eve to come.

“We saw Ballymena were a good side when they put us out of the League Cup but then we went up there in the league and beat them. Every team in the Irish League can prove to be difficult to beat but it’s up to us to go and get the three points to continue our good form going into the Christmas period. When you’re playing at home you need to be getting the results. We’ve been playing well of late but there’s a few more things we have to work on. Getting the points against Ards helped us last week obviously, but football is all about learning and I’m still learning at 39.”

Linfield fans will wish Roy and the rest of the team all the best for the crucial period of games coming up, hopefully starting with another vital three points from today’s eagerly anticipated encounter against David Jeffrey’s Sky Blues.
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Stoke City FC
Kick-off : 15th August @ 2pm
Venue : Windsor Park
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Tre Fiori FC
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