Vital Football

Latest Blackpool FC News

Matt Gilks: From Zero to Hero

Matt Gilks: From Zero to Hero

Last summer Matt Gilks nearly quit football. Despite being a strong minded individual, the keeper had fallen out of love with the game after finding his first team opportunities exceedingly limited at first Norwich and then Blackpool.

At Carrow Road he couldn't dislodge the talented David Marshall from the number one jersey, and after a free transfer to Blackpool he found himself behind fans' favourite Paul Rachubka in the pecking order.

Indeed, he was even subjected to chants of 'USA, USA, USA!' from a section of the Bloomfield Road faithful during a rare appearance in tangerine during Simon Grayson's reign, and if it weren't for the decision to allow Football League teams to name seven subs, he probably wouldn't even have made the bench most games.

A loan move to Shrewsbury didn't improve his outlook, but last summer's arrival of Ian Holloway as manager did.

Ollie offered everyone, including Gilks, a clean slate and although he started the season as second choice behind Rabs once more, he heard enough from Ollie to know that if he worked hard he would get his chance.

And get his chance he did, stamping his claim to the number one jersey with authority, leaving Rabs as the one firmly out in the cold, and firmly establishing himself as a fans' favourite.

I used to be very nervous watching Gilks in goal and didn't rate him, but it's like watching an entirely different player these days.

Yes, he'll still drop the odd clanger like any other keeper but he's developed into a cracking keeper seeping in confidence, as his save at the death v Liverpool shows.

Matt always argues that he was this good (he used to get very angry when his team mates suggested last season that he should win the 'Most Improved Player' award), but there's no doubt in my mind that a combination of hard work and a positive outlook have undoubtedly helped and developed his game.

Many fans thought that signing a new keeper over the summer to deal with the rigours of the Premier League was one of our priorities. I disagreed, and I'm delighted to have been proved right, although I must admit that even I didn't expect Gilksy to be as commanding as he has been! Even the arrival of Richard Kingson, one of the stars of the World Cup, as competition hasn't affected him and he's our number one by some distance.

Indeed, thoughts have now turned to tying him down to a new contract as bigger teams will undoubtedly start sniffing around him if he continues in his current vein of form; a run that has seen him break into the Scottish national side.

From potential retirement to a Premier League and international goalkeeper in just over a year. Incredible.

Matt Gilks: From Zero to Hero.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Eamonn Moore
Date:Monday October 11 2010
Time: 9:12AM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Blackpool Articles

Vital Pre-Match - Blackpool v Wigan

A draw with Fleetwood was better for them than it was Blackpool as it leaves us with a major battle to avoid relegation. Title chasing Wigan visit this time.

Match Day Officials v Wigan (30/4/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Wigan Athletic this weekend.

Audio - Norris Looking For Wigan Upset

David Norris has been speaking ahead of this weekend's game against Wigan Athletic.

Blackpool - Football League Dates 2016/17

The Football League, or the brainless EFL rebrand, have today released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

Archived Vital Blackpool Articles

Vital Blackpool articles from
As featured on NewsNow: Real Madrid news
Real Madrid News 24/7  

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Blackpool
Write For Vital Blackpool
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Blackpool v Wigan
Suggested By:
Blackpool win0%
Wigan win100%
Draw0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Wigan 44 23 15 6 84 36
2 Burton 44 24 9 11 81 19
3 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
4 Millwall 44 22 9 13 75 20
5 Bradford 44 21 11 12 74 12
6 Barnsley 44 21 7 16 70 13
7 Gillingham 44 19 12 13 69 17
8 Scunthorpe 44 19 11 14 68 10
9 Sheff Utd 44 18 12 14 66 9
10 Rochdale 44 18 11 15 65 6
11 Port Vale 44 18 11 15 65 4
12 Coventry 44 17 12 15 63 14
13 Southend 44 16 11 17 59 -4
14 Peterborough 44 17 6 21 57 4
15 Bury 44 15 12 17 57 -15
16 Swindon 44 15 10 19 55 -10
17 Oldham 44 12 18 14 54 -9
18 Chesterfield 44 14 8 22 50 -13
19 Shrewsbury 44 13 11 20 50 -17
20 Fleetwood 44 11 15 18 48 -4
21 Blackpool 44 12 10 22 46 -15
22 Doncaster 44 11 12 21 45 -14
R Colchester 44 9 12 23 39 -41
R Crewe 44 6 13 25 31 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Apr 30 2016 12:30PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet League One
May 8 2016 12:30PM : Peterborough United (a)
Sky Bet League One

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.SeasideEssexXile368
2.Layton_Seasider184
3.Bear1951168
4.premier 1153
5.BobHatton85
6.bfcpete63
7.Albert Ramsbottom62
8.Hastings58
9.whitey194249
10.pickering_hat_trick23