Saltcoats Signing Admits He “Fell Out Of Love” Playing Football

By Chief Reporter Tom Scott

NEW Saltcoats Victoria signing Chris Wright has revealed his delight at rediscovering an appetite for goalkeeping again after previously quitting football.

Chris Wright – goes through his group goalkeeping session at Shot Stoppers.

A January move out of Ashfield Juniors in the Central District Second Division has allowed Wright to make the journey onto Ayrshire District football at Saltcoats Victoria, which means a completely new learning curve for the Clydebank-based custodian who only came back into the game four years ago.

Said Chris:  “I fell out of love for playing football, and to be honest this season before Christmas time things had reached another chapter for me at Ashfield. I trained hard there – with not much in the way of proper goalie training incidentally – and felt I should have had more game-time on a Saturday afternoon. Anytime I got the starting jersey I felt I had done enough to get a run of games, but that never happened.

“Outfield players often complain about the situation I found myself in, but for goalkeepers it is ten-times harder.

“In early December I contacted the Head Coach at Glasgow-based Shot Stoppers Goalkeeping Academy. He gave me some sound advice about going forward as you would expect from somebody who has worked with goalkeepers for 24 years – including Scotland internationalist David Marshall before he signed for Celtic aged 16 years.

“I was then invited to go and train with them. To be honest, I have only ever had one to one or two on one ‘keeper work, but their group work sessions are different class. You won’t find anything better in my opinion. They set huge standards and that rubs off on you as a goalkeeper.

“Working with older and younger age goalkeepers, who have obviously had quality coaching over many years, has really lifted me. Two of the coaches in particular, Jonny (Fyfe) and Sean (McLaughlan) have taught me so much. Things I just never knew existed and could work on.

“I am now starting to understand what it is all about. It is all good with them, and I am really enjoying it. And thanks to the Shot Stoppers work ethic, I have started going back to the gym again – I wouldn’t have done that had I still been at Ashfield.”

When I asked if there was a huge difference between Central and Ayrshire District League clubs Chris replied: “Well, with the weather this winter the condition of pitches have changed more than usual, and you do not often find many Ayrshire grounds being deemed unplayable.

“Recently, we were due to play Dalry away and they switched the game to Kilwinning, but that failed a pitch inspection. Frustrating!

“I have already played 3 games, including a friendly against Troon Juniors, who were up yet another level. I liked the look of Craigmark Burntonians, who are challenging for the title and division promotion.  In my opinion, they are a traditional junior team with their style of play – big and strong at the back, good in the middle of the park, and guys with a lot of pace up front.

“Our previous manager has been replaced by Gary Russell until at least the end of the season. Provides him with a bit of time to bring in his own players. We have two positions in particular which needs strengthening and if new blood does emerge that would help us.”

Picture credit to Academy Media Officer David Hamilton.


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