Alan Blayney

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Alan Blayney is a Northern Irish goalkeeper who was born in Belfast on 9th October 1981. Blayney began his career at Southampton, but made his professional debut for Stockport whilst on loan on 29th October 2002 in a 3-1 win at Blackpool. His stay at Edgely Park was cut short when he broke his finger. Blayney joined Bournemouth on a temporary basis later in the 2002/03 campaign.

Blayney made his Saints debut on 12th May 2004 in a 3-3 draw against Newcastle when Antti Niemi and Paul Smith were both injured. It was a debut to remember for the Northern Irish youngster, who pulled off the save of the season from an Alan Shearer header. Shearer could only look on in disbelief after Blayney flicked the ball over the bar. The stopper kept his place in the side for the final game of the 2003/04 season three days later at Charlton. Blayney made just one more league appearance after that, in a 2-2 draw against West Brom on 6th November 2004. He alarmed many fans in attendance before that match had even begun, when he let a weak Paul Telfer shot roll under his body in the warm up. Unfortunately it was a sign of things to come, as Blaney was at fault for one of West Brom's goals. He made his final appearance for the club three days later in the humiliating 5-2 Carling Cup loss at Watford. Kasey Keller was brought in on loan shortly after, consigning Blayney to the reserves. In 2005 he was loaned to both Rushden & Diamonds and Brighton.

In January 2006 Blayney signed for League 1 outfit Doncaster for £50,000. The former Saints man was first choice at The Keepmoat until he suffered an elbow injury in September 2006. Months earlier he had won his first international cap for Northern Ireland in a 2-0 defeat to Romania. On 25th January 2007 Blayney had his Doncaster contract cancelled by mutual consent for personal reasons. He joined Oldham on a short term deal in February as cover for Les Pogliacomi, and played just a single match for The Latics, a 2-1 loss over former club Bournemouth on February 24th 2007.

On 7th August 2007 Blayney had a short spell at Irish side Bohemians, where he deputised for first choice keeper Brian Murphy. On March 15th 2008 the former Donny man signed for Ballymena United, and spent just over a year with the Braidmen. In June 2009 Blayney signed for Linfield. He picked up a league and cup double winners medals in his first three seasons at the club, and was named Ulster Footballer of the Year for 2010/11.