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Gilks targets Burnley number 1 shirt

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By Joe Haining

Thursday 24 July 2014

New Burnley goalkeeper Matt Gilks is ready for a battle to claim a regular starting place to boost his international aspirations, reports The Lancashire Telegraph.

Matt Gilks

Gilks left Blackpool this summer after six distinguished years with the Seasiders in which he made 203 appearances in all competitions and established himself as a regular member of the Scotland international squad.

The 32-year-old quickly penned a deal with Lancashire rivals Burnley, and has immediately set his sights on the no.1 jersey, although is under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead of him. “It’s a very good goalkeeping squad. It’s a very strong position and the competition is good,” he said. “It’s up to the manager to decide who plays and whatever he says we’ll do.”

Gilks’ principal obstacle to regular first team action will be former England under-21 international Tom Heaton. Heaton came through the ranks at Manchester United, and having joined Burnley last summer was an ever-present in the league as Burnley won promotion back to the top flight.

Gilks was born in Oldham but qualifies for Scotland through a grandparent, and having had a taste of the international arena is keen for more experience at the highest level. “I got three international caps, which is a level I never thought I’d get to. I was very grateful for the opportunity,” said Gilks. “I love going away with them and hopefully I can continue to do so.”

Gilks’ first two caps for Scotland were in friendlies against Australia and Luxembourg, with his solo competitive appearance in the 2-1 win in the World Cup qualifier against FYR Macedonia in September 2013.

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