25/03/2013 10:46, Report by Adam Marshall
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Loans: Sam's clean sheet

Sam Johnstone, who turned 20 on Monday, started his Walsall career with a clean sheet at Hartlepool on Saturday.

The on-loan keeper, who is aiding the Saddlers' League One play-off bid for the rest of the season, enjoyed a solid debut in freezing conditions in the North-East. Steve Howard and Anthony Sweeney were both denied by saves from the youngster as Walsall stretched their unbeaten league run to 10 games.

"I work every day with David De Gea, Anders Lindegaard and Ben Amos," he told the Express & Star. "I am working with some of the best goalkeepers in the world. It’s great experience and we are all young goalkeepers. That’s all great, but I need the experience of League games so I’m grateful for this chance.

"I’m just glad Walsall came in for me and I’m excited to come and play here. I was at Scunthorpe for five months last season and that was a great experience that helped me to grow up. It's proper football in a proper league – with crowds, where you’re playing for points. It’s the best thing for me. I wanted it and United wanted it.

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Sam Johnstone's loans

July 2011:
Oldham Athletic

September 2011:
Scunthorpe United

March 2013:


Premier League