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MCGILL: A WEEKEND TO REMEMBER

20 February 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Tom McGill kept two clean sheets in 24 hours for Albion's under-23s and Basingstoke Town.

It was a tiring weekend for Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 goalkeeper Tom McGill, following 180 minutes of action and more than 700 miles of travel, but it turned out to be a successful 24-hour period for the 18-year-old.

McGill was part of Simon Rusk’s under-23 squad that completed a 530-mile round trip to Manchester for Friday’s night’s impressive 1-0 victory over the Citizens at the Academy Stadium.

After arriving back on the south coast in the early hours of Saturday morning, McGill had little time to rest before heading off to his loan club, Basingstoke Town, for their Southern League Premier Division South match against Kings Langley.

The 180-mile round trip produced another three points for the shot-stopper, with Basingstoke winning 3-0 at The Camrose, and he assessed his performances in both games, following little sleep in-between.

He said, “I went to bed at 4.30am and then had to meet at Basingstoke for 1.30pm. I was shattered; my legs hurt and everything, but I managed to keep a clean sheet and it turned out to be a great weekend.

“Keeping two clean sheets in two days was great, and there were a few good saves to go with them, so I can’t ask for much more than that.

“It’s important to take moments from every game. I made a few good saves against City and then a one-v-one against Kings Langley on the Saturday.

“They were game-changing moments and I’m glad they turned out to be important, as we managed to pick up three points in both matches.”



McGill replaced Robert Sanchez in goal for Rusk’s team, due to the Spaniard’s involvement in Albion’s Emirates FA Cup matchday squad, and he praised his team-mates for pulling off a special result.

“It was my first start in the Premier League 2. I didn’t know I was even travelling until Thursday after training.

“I didn't know if I’d be starting, but I played the game and it was great to keep a clean sheet.

“The boys were trying to keep my concentration levels high throughout the match. I made a few important saves to keep our lead intact, but that’s what I’m there for.

“The back five all did their jobs on the night, the defending was top draw and our goal was amazing too.”



After making his debut in the Premier League 2, McGill touched on the benefits of gaining experience in non-league football, and now believes he is better equipped when returning to the fold for the under-23s.

“I was at Greenwich Borough before Basingstoke, and all of the experiences I’ve had while out on loan have definitely helped me.

“When you’re in the swing of playing games, you can go from one strength to the next. Without that, it can be tough to jump into matches cold.

“But I feel robust and I can play games for the under-23s if I’m needed. I’ve played about 30 games this season already, so playing on Friday night wasn’t any problem at all.”


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