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.



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

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

Login to post a comment

Recent Blackpool Articles

League Cup F‏irst Round - Bolton (22/6/16)

The draw for the first round of the English Football League Cup took place earlier this afternoon.

Exeter Open League Two 2016/17

Blackpool now know that we open the League Two year of 2016/17 at home to Exeter City.

League Cup Draw Wednesday 1pm

Four hours after the Football League fixture list is revealed, the League Cup first round...

Blackpool Appoint CEO

Late yesterday evening Blackpool announced the appointment of our new Chief Executive Officer.

Archived Vital Blackpool Articles

Vital Blackpool articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Blackpool
Write For Vital Blackpool
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Peterborough MotM
Suggested By:
Doyle10%
White5%
McAlister2%
Robertson2%
Potts5%
Redshaw5%
Aldred52%
Philliskirk7%
Norris5%
Higham2%
Blyth5%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 46 29 12 5 99 36
P Oxford 46 24 14 8 86 43
P Bristol Rovers 46 26 7 13 85 31
4 Accrington 46 24 13 9 85 26
5 Plymouth 46 24 9 13 81 26
6 Portsmouth 46 21 15 10 78 31
7 Wimbledon 46 21 12 13 75 14
8 Leyton Orient 46 19 12 15 69 -1
9 Cambridge 46 18 14 14 68 11
10 Carlisle 46 17 16 13 67 5
11 Luton 46 19 9 18 66 2
12 Mansfield 46 17 13 16 64 8
13 Wycombe 46 17 13 16 64 1
14 Exeter 46 17 13 16 64 -2
15 Barnet 46 17 11 18 62 -1
16 Hartlepool 46 15 6 25 51 -23
17 Notts County 46 14 9 23 51 -29
18 Stevenage 46 11 15 20 48 -15
19 Yeovil 46 11 15 20 48 -16
20 Crawley 46 13 8 25 47 -33
21 Morecambe 46 12 10 24 46 -22
22 Newport 46 10 13 23 43 -21
R Dag & Red 46 8 10 28 34 -35
R York 46 7 13 26 34 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Layton_Seasider194
2.Bear195164
3.BobHatton61
4.Albert Ramsbottom52
5.premier 148
6.bfcpete46
7.SeasideEssexXile45
8.whitey194230
9.Hastings25
10.themaclad22