St Ives Town goalkeeper Martin Conway took part in the club’s latest Q&A with supporters last Friday.
A range of topics were discussed, including penalty-saving strategy, playing outfield and superstitions.
Here is a selection of the posers put to the Saints custodian.
Q.What was your best and worst game this season?
A.The worst for me were both against Rushall Olympic! Away we had the heartbreak of losing our lead and not a great game personally from me. Our home game there were four or five penalties in the game and the worst thing for me personally was not saving any of them!
The best were probably the games in which I got injured v Kings Langley in September or the two home games since I’ve rejoined v Leiston or Hednesford, with me being busy in both right until the final whistle.
Q.What made you want to be a goalkeeper?
A.I didn’t really have a choice. I had two older brothers so in order to be allowed to play I had to go in goal!
Seriously, our keeper left when I was younger to move to the Isle of Wight and my brothers helped out and did the coaching/shooting practice for them, so I thought I’d go in goal.
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Q.What advice do you have for young keepers?
A.Be prepared to make mistakaes. Nobody will ever be perfect but if you get down from it then you are likely to make more. Get annoyed at yourself, so that you show determination to not make them again. Know that your job is to make saves and be able to play with your feet too.
Q.What is your strategy for trying to save a penalty?
A.I have a set idea based on the taker’s run-up and it has seemed successful over the years. The other part is where possible do some analysis on the team you are playing and find out who took their previous penalties and where they went.
Q.You had a spell as an outfield player at Leighton Town before coming back to Ives as a goalie. How did becoming a midfield maaestro come about and do you prefer being out on the pitch or between the sticks?
A.I had been out injured for a while and Fin Iron had come in and done well. I spoke with Ricky and knew I needed to be playing regularly. I didn’t want to drop down and keep playing in goal as it was mid-season, so I thought I’d give it a go. Leighton was the local club to my school so showing the kids I could play as well as being a keeper was quite nice, I thought I would enjoy playing out on pitch more than I did if I’m honest! I feel like I’m more influential and involved as a keeper.
Q.Do you have any superstitions or routines you follow on game day?
A.I’m a bit of a strange one, I like my routines. I sit in the same place every game at home games and lay my glove towel on the floor and towel on the seat and get everything I need out of my bag and have it ready. I put everything on my left side first, in normal life too! Managers I’ve had haven’t liked the final one – I put my wrist tape on whilst they are starting their team talk. It’s just a routine that has stcuk and makes me focus on what they are saying.
Q.What’s the best part about playing for St Ives?
A.When I first joined it was the underdog mentality. The amount of ties we played against teams who were expecting to beat us comfortably, as the game went on they would get more and more frustrated because they couldn’t break us down. The support we get from our fans and the tight-knit group the management team have creaetd. Regardless of where people are from, their ages or experience levels we all get 100 per cent support from the fans.
Q.What are you doing to keep yourself fit during isolation?
A.My poor dog has taken the hit for my boredom! Lots more walks than usual so she must be exhausted. I’ve also started running just to give me something challenging to do. Nothing will give you the buzz of playing football, so I hope it can come back safely and quickly.