Hibs' Matt Macey opens up on future at Easter Road and winning the FA Cup with Arsenal
Matt Macey is not one to shout about it, but he has an FA Cup winner’s medal in his bag from last year.
The 6ft 7in Hibs goalkeeper is slightly bashful when asked about it, given that he did not play a minute of Arsenal’s run to the final. They defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley last August, with Macey an unused sub, promoted to the bench behind Emiliano Martinez after a season-ending injury to No.1 keeper Bernd Leno.
Nevertheless, he was part of the giddy celebrations as Mikel Arteta’s men got their hands on silverware. Now he’s looking to bag the Scottish Cup, less than 12 months after winning the English equivalent.
Macey, who joined Hibs after leaving the Gunners last January, made his fourth appearance of the season as the Capital outfit cruised to a 4-0 win over Stranraer to reach the last eight of Scotland’s flagship tournament. He is yet to taste defeat in a Hibs shirt and, according to manager Jack Ross, will play in Saturday’s next-round tie at home to Motherwell and any subsequent cup matches. The Englishman is well-versed on the 2016 triumph and has that to fuel him too.
"That's what I came here to do back in January, to play football and to push off, play as many games as I could,” Macey told the Evening News. “I've got these cup games now and every time we win, I get another game, so there's no more motivation than that, really.
"It's impossible to not know about 2016! That's one of the first things I was shown, taught about when I arrived ... I was straight on YouTube to see it all. That made me realise how important the Scottish Cup is to Hibs fans. Seeing the reaction and the fans in 2016 reinforced that.”
Macey is happy to recall his own memories of being part of a winning squad. “I didn't play a minute, but I've still got a winner’s medal,” he smiled. “Bernd Leno was injured so I made the bench at the back end of last season. The cup run was an unbelievable experience. There were no fans, obviously, which would have been a different level, but I've got that in the bank.”
The 26-year-old is a picture of contentment speaking trackside at Stair Park. Leaving Arsenal was tough considering he had been there for seven happy years, but the time had come to seek regular first-team football. With Hibs’ No.1 Ofir Marciano leaving at the end of the season, Macey – himself out of contract – could get a shot at being the main man next season. He is keen to stay and admitted talks on a new deal have been “positive”.
"I am absolutely loving playing for Hibs,” said Macey. “I feel like I've settled in really well and that's a credit to the staff and the players. Everyone around the club made me feel comfortable and within two or three days, I played against Celtic. I had two sessions and I felt really happy and I've kicked on since.
"We're talking [about a new deal]. I'm enjoying it, I'm happy, I like the club. Let's see, but things are positive."