New Motherwell goalie is ready to make his Mark

New Motherwell signing, goalkeeper Mark Gillespie
New Motherwell signing, goalkeeper Mark Gillespie

Motherwell have made their first signing of the summer transfer window, agreeing a two-year contract with goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

The 26-year-old moves to Fir Park from English League One side Walsall, in a career which has also seen him on the books of Newcastle United and Carlisle United.

His move will become official when the Scottish transfer window opens on June 9.

Gillespie, who will wear the number 20 shirt this season, has amassed 205 professional appearances in his career to date and makes the switch north after one season with the Saddlers.

“I’m excited to get going here,” he said. “I spoke to Stephen Robinson, Martin Foyle and Craig Hinchliffe and just got a good feeling about it.

“They made me feel wanted to be part of the project they’ve got going on here.

“I’m here to work hard, improve and play in good games in a good league.

“The main feedback I’ve got coming here is there is a good spirit in the dressing room, so I want to get involved, be part of the squad and look to push on from what they achieved last season.”

Gillespie was on the books at Newcastle United as a youngster before signing his first professional contract at Carlisle United.

At the age of 18, he became the club’s youngest-ever goalkeeper when he made a substitute appearance against Norwich City. A loan spell with Blyth Spartans followed, before he started to establish himself in Leagues One and Two with Carlisle.

Gillespie shot to fame with his performance in a League Cup game with Liverpool in 2015, keeping a star-studded Reds side at bay all the way to a penalty shootout, where he saved from Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

After 180 games with the Cumbrians, he stepped up a division to League One for the 2017/18 season with Walsall, making 25 appearances.

“We are delighted to have landed Mark,” manager Stephen Robinson said of the signing.