Kilmarnock goalkeeper Zach Hemming highlights Paul Stephenson and Tommy Wright’s influence as he praises a whirlwind start

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Zach Hemming admits that working under Tommy Wright and Paul Stephenson is great for his career.

The 21-year-old shooter is on loan from Middlesbrough and says he enjoys life in Kilmarnock so far.

His team lead the league after three games and he is yet to concede a goal as they prepare to play at Inverness Caledonian Thistle today.

And he says working with former Guardians Wright and Stephenson, whom he knows well thanks to Boro and Blyth Spartans, could do wonders for him.

He said: “When I got the call to come here, Stevo called me and asked me what I thought. He said good things about Scottish football.

“I thought, yeah, I’m going to go up and try, and he’s the one who influenced me to come here.

“I have a lot of respect for him. We were in Blyth together and in Middlesbrough together.

“Middlesbrough was probably better than Blyth because we didn’t do very well.



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Zachary Hemming from Kilmarnock
Zachary Hemming from Kilmarnock

“But in Middlesbrough he helped me and trusted me to bring me up here.”

And on Wright, Hemming said, “I think it’s good to have someone like that because he knows the role.

“The goalies get a lot of criticism, but he’s always the first to back up, I think.

“So it’s good to have someone like that.

“It could go the other way and there could be more pressure, but he supports you and gives you a boost of confidence. It’s brilliant.”

Hemming says he’s loved it so far and praised Killie for their stormy departure.

He said, “Yes, that was good. A lot of it is about settling down easily. My family and I settled in well and it was easier to focus on the football and perform well.

“But thanks guys. They dug every week and went all the way and got the three points.

“As a goalkeeper, there is no better than three clean sheets, it’s a good start.

“But it’s not just me. I think the guys were great, it’s because of them and their hard work throughout the games. “

He added, “It’s a different kind of game than I’m used to. A few of the loans I’ve been on have been busy the entire game.

“When you’re not that busy, it’s more about focusing and going through with it.

“You might only have one save to make at the end of the game to keep a clean sheet and earn all three points.

“So it was a little different – but I’m glad we dominated the games.”

Hemming says he has settled down well in the city and said, “It’s a good place to live. I am in the apartments opposite the stadium, so I am often at the hotel for coffee!

“Everyone around the place is just nice and you can get along with everyone.

“I have a little one and a wife and they get along with everyone, so it’s good that the family is settled in and I can focus on football.

“If we hadn’t settled in it might have been a little different, but everyone here has been so nice and tried to help us get settled.”

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