30 July 2021

Shotstopper Martin Confident Blues Can Keep Pushing

Waterford FC goalkeeper Paul Martin is confident that the Blues can continue their push up the table over the coming weeks after a good run of form.

Ahead of the Blues trip to face Drogheda United, WaterfordFC.ie caught up with the young goalkeeper.

“Things are looking up for us – everyone is working really hard in training and we’re getting results,” Martin told WaterfordFC.ie. “Drogheda are a good side, but we know if we keep playing the way we are then we can keep picking up points. Everyone is confident that we can start moving up the table and get ourselves in a better position.”

Twin brother to midfielder John, keeper Paul had an eventful last outing, when his error allowed Athone to equalise, before turning hero in the shootout with two excellent saves.

“The fourth goal shouldn’t have gone in,” Martin said, “I hold my hands up but I just had to pick myself up and I owed it to the boys to win it for us really. It was a mad game. At the time you’re thinking you can’t believe it – but I had the opportunity to redeem myself and thankfully I did. I had to just pick myself up and try to save some penalties.

“We practice penalties in training and I was confident that I would save at least one, thankfully I saved two in the end.”

And the immediate reaction after the second save?

“Relief, pure relief. I was just so thankful I could win it for the team,” Martin says.

Martin is among three very talented keepers on the first team books with Brian Murphy and Matthew Connor; led by Bundesliga-winning goalkeeper coach, Dirk Heinen.

“Dirk is brilliant. I’ve worked with him for 4/5 years now and I’ve developed so much under him, mentally and physically,” Martin says. “A couple of seasons ago I wasn’t ready for the league but under him and then Murph coming in, I think I’ve improved a lot because of their experience and they’ve helped me a lot to be ready for when I’m needed.

“Sometimes you’re not expecting the opportunity to come but I’m always ready. The three keepers are always pushing each other and you have to give a lot of credit to Dirk too – he makes sure all three of us are always ready to come in and perform.”

As the Blues prepare for Friday’s trip to Drogheda, Martin is all too aware of the importance of the experienced players who have joined the club in the past weeks.

“We needed the experience,” admits Martin. “We know we’ve got good young talented players but you need that blend of experience. Eddie [Nolan]’s been brilliant since he’s come in too, even the previous week in the Sligo game coming on and he talks and helps everyone, as well as Greg [Halford] and Woody [Andrew Wordsworth] too and that’s the experience we needed to help us move up the table.”

(Image Credit: Noel Browne)