Shropshire Star

Former Shrewsbury man Joe Hart on BBC punditry and being 'former goalkeeper'

Former Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Joe Hart hung up his gloves at the end of the season - and is now making a move into the studio.

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The 37-year-old ended his playing days with trophy success at Celtic - having enjoyed a successful career winning Premier League titles and playing over 700 career games.

He also won 75 caps for his country - and now he will make up the team of BBC pundits for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament.

Speaking in a column for BBC Sport ahead of the Friday's opener - Hart explained that he wants to bring a 'goalkeeper's perspective' to the studio, something he believes can be missing at times.

He added that he wants to go into detail when it comes to specific goalkeeper punditry, without protecting his fellow shot stoppers.

He said: "The reason I wanted to get into punditry is to educate people who are interested in goalkeeping, and hopefully I can help people understand the position a bit better.

"I'll be trying my best to do that by giving a goalkeeper's perspective, which can be very different to that of an outfield player. Sometimes when a goal goes in, the analysis you see on TV is about how the keeper should have done better, or has made a mistake.

"That can be the case, of course, and I am not here to protect goalkeepers from criticism, but part of the way I analysed my own performances during my career was to work out exactly why things happened.

"There is often a lot more to a goal than might first appear and I want to try to explore and explain that, and all the different variables that can affect the goalkeeper - from the positions they take up and how they work with their defenders, to the movement of the ball and everything else that is happening in front of them.

"These are things that might seem simple but they really aren't - and I am willing to go into that detail.

"I'll be learning new things myself too, including how to be a pundit - I fully understand I am not going to be brilliant at it to start with."

Hart will also take experiences from tournaments into his role as a pundit - having featured in four major competitions with England.

He was unused at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but featured in the 2012 and 2016 Euros, as well as the World Cup in 2014.

Heading into the tournament he admitted he was excited about his new opportunity - but is still coming to terms with being called a 'former goalkeeper'.

He added: "It feels weird to be described or introduced as a former goalkeeper, because I have only just left a trade that I was working in as a professional for more than 20 years - I made my senior debut for Shrewsbury Town in April 2004, when I was 17.

"Although I went to four major finals with England, being on this side of things at a tournament is all new to me.

"In the past I have just been focused on myself, and what I needed to do as a goalkeeper, rather than finding out very much about other players from other teams we weren't up against. But as I've said, I am not a goalie anymore, so I am looking forward to that changing when I am in Germany.

"I am going to listen to everyone around me, make the most of their experience and take in as much as possible - I am open-minded, open-eyed and looking forward to everything the next few weeks might bring."