King praises Matty in the Hunt for number one spot

BLYTH Spartans goalkeeper coach Carl King has praised the attitude and commitment of Matty Hunter as he patiently waits for his chance in the first team.

Twenty-year-old Hunter has found his route into the side blocked by the good form of current number one Conor Grant but has impressed King and his fellow coaches with his attitude in training.

King said: “Matty has a old head on young shoulders, his attitude has been superb. Obviously he’s frustrated at not playing but he hasn’t let his head drop and worked hard in training. He knows the chance could come anytime so he’s prepared to step in.”

The former Monkseaton Academy player made three appearances last season and King has a high opinion of Hunter as he looks for his first run out of this team.

“I said this last season and I’ll say it again, I believe that Matty is the best goalkeeper in the north east at his age group. He has all the attributes to be a top goalkeeper,” he said.

It’s not always easy to have a good relationship with a challenger for one position in a team but King was at pains to point that having two, young, developing goalkeepers has meant that both Hunter and Grant have got an excellent relationship and it’s a one that will benefit the club in the long run and give caretaker manager Paddy Atkinson a selection headache over the coming months.

The form of Grant has been impressive on the whole this season but the former Gretna man suffered a unfortunate event last week at Buxton when his opposing number Ian Deakin launched a long free kick towards Grant’s goal only for a freak bounce to deceive the Spartans keeper and bounce into an empty net. However King feels that Grant’s personality and nature means that he will put it in the past in the best possible way.

King said: “He knows its something he has to put behind him. It was a freak goal and these things happen but at the end of the day he’s human. We spoke about it on the coach home but haven’t mentioned it again.

“There is no hiding place as a goalkeeper but I know Conor well enough to know he’ll bounce back starting on Saturday.”