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Paul Hurst on Craig MacGillivray

Gaffer gives his thoughts on the signing of Town's new goalkeeper

5 July 2017

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst has spoken of his delight at adding 24-year-old goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray to his squad.

MacGillivray has most recently been with Walsall, where he spent three years, and came up against Town in the 1-1 draw at the Meadow back in April.

Paul was impressed with what he saw that day and is pleased to have got Craig on-board.

“He played against us for Walsall last season and we were impressed”, Paul told ShrewsWeb.

“We obviously looked more into that and spoke to the people over there and although they let him go they were complimentary and from everything that we’d seen, we liked what we saw.

“I spoke to him before we returned for pre-season and at that point we weren’t in a position to offer a deal, but I wanted to offer him a chance to come in for pre-season training and before I got chance to ask, he asked if he could come.

“Straight away that is a massive tick. He’s someone that has got a good attitude, someone that looks after himself and then there’s his ability.

“For a ‘keeper he’s still a baby really, but he’s got some League One experience, so for me it was almost a no brainer in the end.”

At Walsall, Craig’s path was blocked to some extent by Filipino international Neil Etheridge, but Paul believes he is more than capable of competing at League One level.

“That’s a problem that ‘keepers have more than anyone else - there is only one position”, Hurst said.

“If you are a midfielder there are often two maybe three positions to fight for and injuries occur more often, but from playing against him I thought he did very well.

“He handled the situation of a local derby, he didn’t look flustered at all and that’s sparked the initial interest, and after the research was done it was all positive.”

Paul now has four ‘keepers on the books, but admitted that he wants plenty of competition throughout the squad.

“I don’t think he’s come here to sit on the bench and that’s what I want”, Paul said.

“I want competition across the squad and I can see what in certain areas of the squad I’m going to have some headaches and that’s what I want.

“At times last season it was a little bit easy for me to pick a team and make certain decisions. I want it so that I am really going to bed thinking about tough decisions in areas all across the pitch.”

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