MacGillivray: "I can’t wait to get cracking"

Craig MacGillivray is relishing the challenge that lies ahead after penning a two-year deal with the Addicks on Monday morning.

The goalkeeper joins from fellow League One outfit Portsmouth following the expiration of his contract at Fratton Park.

“I’m over the moon,” said the 28-year-old. “It feels like a while that this has been going on for now, but I’m glad it’s over the line and I can’t wait to get cracking.

“As soon as I heard Charlton were interested, literally at the end of last season… There were other opportunities that arose, but I knew I wanted to come to this football club. You just have to look at the size of it, the history and that ticked all the boxes for me.

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“When I met the gaffer here, we got on like a house on fire. His ambitions of what he wants to achieve literally match what I want to achieve at this football club. He’s a very positive guy, which I think is really important. I think we’ll have a really good relationship, and hopefully it will stand us in good stead.”

MacGillivray arrives in SE7 on the back of an eye-catching campaign on the south coast, where he played all 46 League One games, keeping 15 clean sheets and establishing himself as one of the division’s leading stoppers to earn the Pompey player of the season accolade.

“I feel like I’ve had a good season,” he admitted. “I feel in my time at Portsmouth I’ve done well. I’ve proved a lot of people wrong, I feel, off the back of three seasons there. Hopefully now I can kick on and keep improving, because I feel I’ve still got a lot to learn.”

“For any goalkeeper you’ve obviously got to be able to make saves, but I think I’ve got a very level-headed mind and I’ve got good self-confidence in my ability. I feel my all round game in general, I tick most boxes. 

“I like to come and deal with things, try and help out the back line, try and take pressure off the team, try and make big saves at big moments. In terms of distributing, I feel like I cover all areas.”

The Scotsman, who was called up to Steve Clarke’s squad in August 2019, will meet his Charlton teammates for the first time today at Sparrows Lane as Nigel Adkins’ side begin their pre-season preparations.

“It’s going to be strange going into a dressing room when you don’t really know any of the lads, but I think there’s something quite enjoyable about that when you’re going in somewhere it’s a completely new start, you’re meeting everyone for the first time. I’ve heard from the gaffer that he wants to build a really good team and a good togetherness so I’m looking forward to it.

“I don’t mind pre-season, I know a lot of people hate pre-season! For me, it’s about brushing off cobwebs. I think this is the longest I’ve had off in terms of no football for four years, due to play-offs and stuff like that normally. It’ll be nice to get catching the ball again, meet everyone and brush off the cobwebs ready for the season.”

MacGillivray is also savouring the prospect of playing in front of the Addicks faithful after witnessing the booming Valley atmosphere firsthand as an opposition player in recent years.

“That’s the thing - I can’t wait! When you’re walking around the stadium here… I experienced it when I was playing for Portsmouth a couple of years ago. It’s rocking and that’s what we all want as footballers. You want a full ground with the fans all backing you and I can’t wait for it to happen ready for next season!”

Supporters can get a first look at the full interview on CharltonTV. Click here to purchase a subscription.

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