Saturday, August 13, 2022
SportScottish PremiershipNew Livingston goalkeeper admits he is more famous for being a Liverpool...

New Livingston goalkeeper admits he is more famous for being a Liverpool striker

LIVINGSTON goalkeeper Shamal George admits he is more famous for leading the Liverpool attack instead of keeping the ball out of the net.

But the 24-year-old hopes to make his name as a goalkeeper north of the border after making a £85,000 switch from Colchester United.

George came on up front of the Reds in a pre-season friendly win over Huddersfield six years ago when he replaced the injured Lucas Leiva after Jurgen Klopp had used all his outfield subs.

It is an usual moment that George has struggled to shake off but after impressing at Colchester last season, the shot-stopper is finally hoping he is beginning to be recognised for his ability in goal.

Promotional image welcoming Shamal George to Livingston.
George has signed a four-year deal at the Lions. (Pic: Livingston FC)

George, who is set to be handed an immediate debut in today’s televised lunch-time kick off with Rangers in the Premiership curtain raiser, just a week after joining, said: “It was a long time ago.

“It was crazy and not something I’ll forget. It’s what I’m mostly known for for some reason.

“I came on for half an hour but I was blowing after five minutes. Lucas was injured and there were no more subs on the bench. 

“The manager told me to get ready but I didn’t believe him so I stayed on the bench for five minutes then he said ‘what are you doing?’ I played 25-30 minutes. 

“I nearly got through on goal but the linesman was busy and called me offside.

“I had a good season last year so hopefully I can change the opinions of folk who think I’m a striker.”

With today’s clash on Sky Sports, George is keen to make a good first impression in Scottish football.

He added: “There will be lots of exposure and me signing for four years was a big say in that. 

“The team’s going to be playing games on Sky and it will be putting myself in the shop window.

“I’m looking forward to it, this is probably the biggest game of my career so one I’m definitely looking forward to. 

“Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup was probably my biggest game before this but this is one that will be memorable for me.

“Livingston obviously play teams like Rangers, Celtic, Hearts. Compared to League Two, it’s a massive step in my career. I couldn’t say no to it.”

George did not think he would be going up against Rangers just two months after watching on television as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side agonisingly lost on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final.

He added: “I watched that game, it’s crazy how football works.

“I was watching their game against Dortmund on Wednesday, just trying to see how they play but it’s going to be a whole lot different when you’re on the pitch against them and there’s three stands of their fans. It’s going to be crazy but I can’t wait for it.”

Such is Martindale’s faith in George that Livingston took the rare step of paying a transfer fee for George and the goalkeeper is determined not to let him down.

He added: “The gaffer’s shown belief in me so I just need to repay him. I’m very thankful for it and hopefully I can repay him on the pitch.

“He’s going to help me as much as he can on things I can improve on. It’s more in the shop window and it’s a massive opportunity for more clubs to look at you. It’s a tough league.

“I want to do my best for the club and for myself but it’s a big opportunity. 

“I’m not looking to stay here for 10 years but while I’m here I’m looking to do my best. It’s not something I’m overlooking, definitely not. It’s a big challenge for me but it’s one I’m looking forward to.”

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