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

Blackburn & Bury In Pre Season

Blackpool have today confirmed two of the summer friendlies the side will face as they prepare for life in League Two in 2016/17.

Blackpool - FL Dates 2016/17 (23/5/16)

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

Who Will Blackpool Face In 2016/17 (22/5/16)

With no matches remaining in the regular 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Wholescale League Changes For Blackpool?

The Football League have confirmed that Blackpool have received a 'discussion document' that details proposed major changes to the make up of the game in this country.

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)

Peterborough MotM
Suggested By:
Doyle6%
White4%
McAlister4%
Robertson0%
Potts4%
Redshaw8%
Aldred54%
Philliskirk8%
Norris4%
Higham4%
Blyth4%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.premier 1173
2.Layton_Seasider126
3.Bear1951124
4.Albert Ramsbottom81
5.SeasideEssexXile74
6.BobHatton73
7.Hastings60
8.DEVONLAD52
9.whitey194238
10.bfcpete33