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#PLStories- Alex McCarthy feels his best years are still ahead of him #SAINTSFC

ALEX McCarthy feels his best years are still ahead of him as a goalkeeper, admitting joining Saints has turned out to be “a very good move for me”.

August marked five years since McCarthy arrived at St Mary’s from Crystal Palace.

The one-time England international broke into senior football whilst at Reading during the 2010-11 season, eventually nailing down his starting spot three seasons later.

However, McCarthy struggled for game-time after leaving Berkshire, playing just 11 games across two seasons at QPR and Palace, before only featuring twice in his first campaign at Saints.

It proved to be a season of frustration for McCarthy in 2016-17, playing second fiddle to Fraser Forster before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in October.

Since then, chances have become more regular for the Guildford-born ace.

He has now usurped Forster to become Saints’ clear first choice between the sticks, starting every Premier League game this campaign.

Now 31, McCarthy, who kept a clean sheet in Saturday’s win over Watford, has played 122 games for Saints since his arrival half a decade ago.

“To be honest I didn’t realise I’d been there five years until someone said to me the other day,” McCarthy told the Daily Echo.

“It’s been a very good move for me. I’m very settled there.

“There’s a great feeling around the place, great staff, great players.

“It’s a nice place to go and work every day. I’ve played a lot of games there now, I want to play a lot more games and keep developing my game as much as possible.”

Despite a number of younger goalkeepers breaking into Premier League sides in recent seasons, of the 20 regular starting top-flight stoppers, six are older than McCarthy in Lukasz Fabianski, Hugo Lloris, Kasper Schmeichel, Vicente Guaita, Ben Foster and Tim Krul.

McCarthy turns 32 next month, but asked if he feels his best years are still ahead of him as a goalkeeper, he said: “Yeah, definitely. The positives are I’ve got a lot of experience now.

“I’m enjoying playing football. I’m 31, I’ve still got a lot of time ahead of me.

“I just want to keep improving and helping the team as much as possible.”

Alex McCarthy is an ambassador for the FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards, celebrating the heroes who go above and beyond for the grassroots game. Find out more at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football

Alex McCarthy Southampton

ALEX McCarthy feels his best years are still ahead of him as a goalkeeper, admitting joining Saints has turned out to be “a very good move for me”.

Alex McCarthy said: “To be honest I didn’t realise I’d been there five years until someone said to me the other day. It’s been a very good move for me. I’m very settled there. There’s a great feeling around the place, great staff, great players. It’s a nice place to go and work every day. I’ve played a lot of games there now, I want to play a lot more games and keep developing my game as much as possible.”

Despite a number of younger goalkeepers breaking into Premier League sides in recent seasons, of the 20 regular starting top-flight stoppers, six are older than McCarthy in Lukasz Fabianski, Hugo Lloris, Kasper Schmeichel, Vicente Guaita, Ben Foster and Tim Krul. McCarthy turns 32 next month, but asked if he feels his best years are still ahead of him as a goalkeeper,

Alex McCarthy said: “Yeah, definitely. The positives are I’ve got a lot of experience now. I’m enjoying playing football. I’m 31, I’ve still got a lot of time ahead of me. I just want to keep improving and helping the team as much as possible.”

 

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