O'Ware: Team-mates rate me as a keeper
Published: 28 Nov 2013 11:30
With first-team stoppers Nicolas Caraux and Derek Gaston nursing knocks and the youth academy’s under-17s custodians at school, the defender was called on to fill in between the sticks.
The 20-year-old was outstanding, making two impressive double saves to help David Hopkin’s reserve side to a well-deserved 2-1 win.
The majority of his fellow first-teamers watched on from the sidelines after training and revelled in their pal’s performance.
But it didn’t stop them winding him up remorselessly afterwards, shouting that they’ve found his true position and that he had finally done enough to earn more than a ‘4’ in the paper.
O’Ware told the Tele: “Hoppy knew Gats and Nicolas were injured and they tried to get the match cancelled but couldn’t get the permission.
“I wasn’t actually supposed to be playing. Before the match the people who weren’t playing were out doing some sprints and the others who were involved were inside getting ready.
“But while I was doing the sprints Hoppy came over and told me I was in the nets after I said I would go in for a joke.
“It was weird. Obviously it’s completely different from being outfield with your surroundings and all that. But it was a good laugh and I enjoyed it.
“My best save was probably at the end. The boy [Cedric Tatu] has come through and leathered it and I’ve saved it.
“Then the ball rebounded to the edge of the box and someone hit it through a load of bodies and through our centre-back’s legs at the last minute, but I managed to get down to it.
“It’s really weird, watching the game coming at you instead of being involved in the thick of it. It’s as if you’re not really part of it, because there are long spells when you’re not involved. There was a point when I was positioning a wall — and I had no idea what I was doing to be fair, so Davie Wylie had to shout on to tell them where to stand. That was just guesswork. Afterwards Hoppy said he would get me a bottle of champagne for how well I played, but the boys were having a bit of banter.
“They were saying how well I did and it’ll be the first time I’ve had more than a ‘4’ in the Telegraph. It was all in good spirits.
“It’s not something we usually do, but if someone’s had a howler we’ll joke with them about their rating and things like that. They were joking saying: ‘That’s you found your position now, Tam. You’re better in goal than you are outfield.’ It was all the usual stuff.”
Although it came as a bolt from the blue, O’Ware does have previous experience as a goalkeeper, albeit limited to a half hour as a youth team player with Rangers.
He added: “I’m not bad in the nets.
“I actually played in goal when I was with Rangers for the last half hour of a game when the keeper got injured.
“The game was over really.
“I think it was 4-0 at the time and it was just a friendly against a boys’ club so it didn’t really compare.
“I’ll probably be the third choice keeper now, and if for example Gats or that got injured on Saturday I would go in if needed. I wouldn’t say no — but I’d rather play outfield!”