(On Loan From Middlesboro)
(On Loan From Middlesboro)
June 21st 2021: Zach Hemming is pleased to be reunited with Paul Stephenson after signing a season-long loan deal with Killie from Middlesboro. The shot stopper worked with Killie’s assistant manager at the Riverside Stadium with the 21-year-old joining for the duration of the 2021/22 season.
Zach, who has had previous loan spells with Blyth Spartans, Darlington and Hartlepool United, signed a new deal with Boro until 2023 before heading to Scotland.
Zach said: “I was really pleased to get it over the line, this is a massive club. Hopefully I can help get us back to where we belong. I knew Paul from the ‘Boro academy and worked with him later when I went on loan to Blyth. My last loan spells really helped me mature a bit. I think coming here, I can kick on again. With the manager having been a goalkeeper himself then it’s good to have people here that can help me.”
Tommy Wright “Paul alerted me to him but I know Ian Bennett [Middlesbrough, goalkeeping coach] really well and I think Zach is someone who will come in and be a big hit with the fans. He’s a good size, technically a very good goalkeeper and he will improve by playing games.”
Sept 20th 2021 on being named Kilmarnock Standard Player of the Month: “Yeah it’s a good feeling to win the award.
“But it’s not just down to me that we’ve kept clean sheets, the defence have been great – but I’ll take it!
“We’ve had a great start and hopefully it’ll give us confidence for the rest of the season.
“It’s good being so solid at the back, if we can keep the ball out of the net all season then we’d take 1-0 wins every week.
“Some games you’re expected to maybe win by more, it’s hard though because every game is tough.
“A lot of teams sit in against us so we just have to focus on avoiding conceding and hopefully bag a goal or two up the other end.”
He added: “It’s good personally every week having the confidence I can keep a clean sheet.
“Sometimes it’s just a case of keeping my concentration because I maybe don’t have much to do then I have to make a save at the end to keep a clean sheet.
“Points are at stake when I’m facing situations like that at the end, but all I can do is my best and hopefully help the boys out.
“I just need to keep focusing on getting clean sheets, hopefully there is many more to come.”
“I have been enjoying my time here, it’s great. That’s important for me as it means I can just focus on playing football without worrying about anything else.
“It’s a good dressing room and everyone is getting on well, you need that to have everyone playing for each other.
“It’s good competition between myself and Sam, (Walker) it’s always good to have that keeping you on your toes.
“He’s a good goalkeeper so I have to do my best to keep my spot because he will be knocking on the door.
“I can’t slack off in training, but we get on well together so it’s a good environment to be around.”
“Doyle is good as a coach, it’s nice to have someone as experienced as him around.
“Obviously he’s not long retired so he’s a modern goalkeeper, he helps out a lot and it just adds to the experience.
“The gaffer is obviously an ex-goalkeeper too, but he’s more traditional and just wants to keep the ball out of the net.
“It’s always good to have these guys around as I can feed off their experience and take it on board.”
“I had a few sessions with England when I was younger, I didn’t manage to get into the squad but it was good experience.
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