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Interview | Matt Macey

Goalkeeper Matt Macey is our first signing of the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old penned a contract at Easter Road that will run until the end of the season after bringing an end to a seven-year stint with Arsenal.

It would have been easy for the 6ft 7in shot-stopper to sit back and enjoy the life of luxury with the English giants, but Macey is hungry to prove himself as a first-team regular.

To do that he’ll have to see off competition from Ofir Marciano and Kevin Dabrowski, but it’s a challenge he’s determined to take on.

Matt, welcome to Hibernian. Talk us through the last few days.

It’s all happened quite quickly. I wanted to come from the moment I heard Hibs were interested. Then it was a case of jumping in the car for an eight-hour trip. I suppose that gave me a lot of time to think things over before I arrived at the training ground, but my mind was made up.

Did you speak to anyone about moving up here?

I spoke to Kieran Tierney at length about the opportunity to come to Hibs, about Scottish football and the country in general. Kieran was really positive about every aspect of it, whether it was the club or Edinburgh itself. As I said, I was already keen to come but it was good to hear him talk so enthusiastically about it all. He backed up the gut feeling I had. Kieran’s someone I have a lot of time for and he’s probably one of the first names on the team-sheet – if not the first – at Arsenal just now.

What are you looking for from this?

I really enjoyed my time at Arsenal, but this feels like an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for. I want to kick-start my career. The last few years haven’t gone the way I would have planned, but that’s always the trade-off when you’re at a massive club with world class players. It’s an opportunity to play in games that matter and the thought of that is really exciting.

For all you’ve been desperate to play, you must feel liked you picked up a lot from your time at Arsenal?

Definitely. They gave me a great education and I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing coaches and players. I had some incredible experiences, especially on the road for some big games. You also get plenty of practice in training trying to save shots from some world class attackers. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sticks out. He has a real killer instinct. In some sessions it can feel like a bonus just to save one or two of his shots. When I was younger I was a bit more starstruck by it but there comes a point when you want to make an impact yourself. I always took my responsibilities there seriously. You can still make an impact in your own way by working to a high level and challenging the people around you in training, but I feel like I’m at a point when I really want to be playing games.

What was your conversation like with Jack Ross in advance of signing?

I had a good chat with the gaffer and Craig Samson. It was all very positive. It feels like a great fit for me. They really didn’t have to sell the club to me. They were honest about the club and what they want to achieve here. It sounded like something I really want to be part of – a team that wants to challenge for silverware and qualify for European football.

You’re going to be competing against two goalkeepers with very different profiles – an established international and an up-and-coming young player who is fresh from a successful loan. How do you see that?

I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the other goalkeepers and I’m up for the challenge. I just want to feel like I have the opportunity to play. If I give my all and, for whatever reason, one of the other boys gets the nod then I’ll be supportive of them. But I really want to give the gaffer something to think about.

You have the opportunity to make your debut at Celtic Park. Do you feel ready to be pitched in?

It would be a great one to start with! It’s already come up in conversation with Kieran Tierney. He isn’t exactly subtle about the team he supports so I think the well-wishes from him would last until kick-off. Personally, it would be an exciting game to be involved in. I’m fit and raring to go.