Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has been reminiscing about the most pivotal moment of his career.
At the age of 18 he went on loan from Charlton to then Conference side, Accrington Stanley.
Rob Elliot describes it as ‘career defining’, being introduced to ‘men’s professional football’.
He ended that season by playing a big part in Accrington’s promotion to the Football League and is obviously fondly remembered there.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of that promotion, the official Accrington Stanley website spoke to the currently injured Newcastle keeper.
“It was probably career defining for me, I don’t think I’d be where I am now if I hadn’t gone on loan to Accrington. That set my stall out and introduced me to men’s professional football and gave me an opportunity to show what I could do. When I went back to Charlton I went back in higher stead.
“It’s probably the most pivotal moment in my career.
Playing in the Premier League and Europa League and in internationals are obviously massive achievements and I’ll always remember them but none of it would have happened without Woking and the penalties and all the things I achieved with Accrington that season.
“I’m 30 this month and when I think about it I think it’s one of the best things that’s happened in my life.
“The ref gave the penalty (at Woking in crucial promotion match), the lad took it and I saved it. He then scored the rebound but I think there was encroachment or something and the ref asked for it to be retaken.
“He took it again, I saved it again and I remember being on the floor as he looked to get the rebound. I think it might have been Robbie Williams who gave him a little nudge as he went for it, I managed to get up off the floor and I think it just hit me really. It was more luck than judgement.
“The corner came in after that and the header was cleared off the line and later I think we cleared another off the line. Sometimes in life and in football things just line up for you and it was just one of those things. We knew that everything was with us that season, the luck and everything.”
“Looking back now the quality of players was far too good for that level.
“We played brilliant football at times but we didn’t always win pretty. We pulled together and sometimes just ground it out and got the results.”