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Eric behind Yates move

  • Post published:2 December 2020

A former goalkeeper might not seem the most obvious connection for finding for a new striker.

However, not content with finding Stranraer’s number ones, goalkeeping coach Eric Phillips has turned his hand to playing a role in finding potential stars at the other end of the pitch.

Recent signing Matty Yates told the club website how the former Auchinleck Talbot number one played his part in helping him come to Stranraer’s attention.

He said: “It’s been good since I came into the club.

“The lads have made me feel welcome and the gaffer Stevie Farrell has been good with me.

Yates was a second half substitute for the wins over Edinburgh City and Brechin

“I have enjoyed training and it is good to be back playing.

“My dad knows the goalkeeping coach Eric and I was not at a club and needed training.

“Eric told me to come in and train and I impressed.

“My dad works with Eric at Renfrewshire Council.”

Eighteen-year-old Yates, who spent 12 years with Rangers, had been without a club after being let go by Hibs when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The frontman had only joined the Easter Road side a matter of months before the season came to a halt.

Yates replaces Darryl Duffy during Saturday’s win at Glebe Park

Hibs elected to release a number of youngsters, with Yates among those who was not offered a new deal.

He feared he would be left on the sidelines and was grateful to be given a second chance by the Blues.

He said: “It was worrying at the time.

“I didn’t think I was going to find another club and I thought I would have to find another job and maybe not play football again.

“Stranraer came in and they have helped me a lot.”

Yates, from Paisley, made his third appearance for the club during Saturday’s 4-1 win at Glebe Park.

And he played a part in the club’s final goal of the afternoon as he blocked an attempted clearance, which allowed Tom Orr to square the ball to James Hilton to score.

Yates was involved in the build up to Stranraer’s fourth goal

Now, attention turns to this weekend’s clash with Stirling Albion as fourth welcomes third.

Yates said: “It’s probably one of the biggest games we are going to have this season.

“If we keep performing like we have been in the last few weeks then I think we will get the win.

“We just need to stick together as a team and work hard with each other.

“We are not conceding a lot of goals just now, so, if we keep doing that and get a clean sheet we will definitely score.

“Hopefully that will help us to get the win.”