Portsmouth News

MacGillivr­ay: I love playing for this football club

Player of the Year is desperate to extend his Fratton stay

- By NEIL ALLEN Chief sports writer neil.allen@thenews.co.uk

HIS mum was bor n on Hayling Island, his auntie lives in Hedge End and he’s marrying into a Pompey family.

Craig MacGillivr­ay is desperate to remain on the south coast he considers home.

The popular Blues player has been named as The News/ Sports Mail’s Player of the Season by supporters.

In the process, he becomes only the fourth keeper in the trophy’s 42-year history to receive the accolade, joining Peter Mellor, Alan Knight and David James.

Yet MacGillivr­ay is unsure whether he will have the opportunit­y to defend his honour – for his Pompey deal is nearing expiry.

The 28-year-old is among 11 members of the first-team squad whose contracts finish at the season’s end.

And he’s waiting to discover whether Danny Cowley wishes him to remain at Fratton Park.

MacGillivr­ay told The News: ‘I would like to think that in the coming days and weeks the club will be in contact with me.

‘I think they might have an option on me, I haven’t got a clue to be honest!

‘Absolutely I want to stay, I love it here. I love the area, I love playing for this football club. It has been a shame we’ve not had the fans back in the stadium because there’s no better feeling.

‘You come out of that tunnel and the roar from the supporters, there’s no feeling like it. It has been a real shame that we’ve not had them here.

‘I love the area, I love playing for this football club. I know some people may say it, but I genuinely mean it – every time I put my shirt on it is an absolute honour to me to wear it. Genuinely, I give my all for this team.

‘Hopefully for me – and the other lads in the team – we soon get to know what’s what going forward.’

MacGillivr­ay arrived at Fratton Park in June 2018 on a free transfer from Shrewsbury. He has since made 135 appearance­s, while this term was an ever-present in the Blues’ League One campaign.

During his time on the south coast he’s met fiancee Lally, whose dad is an avid Pompey supporter and former North Stand season-ticket holder.

The Scot added: ‘We were meant to be getting married this summer around the Chertsey area, but, due to Covid, that has now been moved to next summer.

‘Our original wedding day fell on the cusp of being allowed 30 guests maximum, so unfortunat­ely we had to delay that.

‘It’s a sickener, but, with what has gone on this year, the main thing is the country is starting to come back through the other side.

‘And I want to remain at this football club as well.’

 ??  ?? LEGEND Alan Knight is one of four keepers to have won The News/Sport’s Mail’s Player of the Season accolade
LEGEND Alan Knight is one of four keepers to have won The News/Sport’s Mail’s Player of the Season accolade

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