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James Crawley


Posted Monday, July 1st 2019

‘Club direction was huge appeal’ – Gilmartin

Rene Gilmartin says he can see the Premier League potential as he settles into his new surroundings at Bristol City.

From the state-of-the-art training ground redevelopment, to the “exceptional” Ashton Gate, the new City goalkeeper can’t wait to get to work in BS3.

“What appealed to me most is the direction this club is going in,” he told in his first club interview.

“This is a massive club which has pushed for promotion year in, year out. The head coach (Lee Johnson) has a great philosophy for how football should be played and this is a huge opportunity for me to step on in my career.”

Gilmartin is a keeper with coaching experience and it’s a responsibility he wants to bring to the Robins as he looks to “challenge and push on” the younger keepers both with the men’s and City Women’s squads.

The 32-year-old said: “I’ve been versatile and offered different responsibilities to the manager and the rest of the team. I’ll be involved with City Women too, their progression and development too.”

He added: “I was third choice at Watford with two years in the Premier League after winning promotion so I have been part of the squad and know what it takes. That experience has lived with me and I want to bring it here and be the experienced one.”

It was with Watford when Gilmartin last visited Ashton Gate. Now he returns as a Robin and with the stadium since redeveloped, he can’t wait for matchday.

He said: “The stadium is exceptional. I came here a few years ago with Watford when it was in development. Now you come into these facilities and setup and even at the training ground you can see what they’re doing up there: the high-tec performance additions and this is a club going places.

“It’s geared for the Premier League, you can see there are no stones unturned, no corners being cut and it’s exceptional really.”

Dublin-born Gilmartin has signed from Colchester United. He has also represented St Kevin’s Boys, Walsall, Watford (twice), Plymouth and St Patrick’s before he joined the U’s in July 2017. The shot-stopper has also played on loan at Hednesford, Yeovil Town and Crawley Town during his career.