Portsmouth transfers: How Kenny Jackett and Joe Gallen played role in Craig MacGillivray's Charlton move

Charlton consulted both Kenny Jackett and Joe Gallen before completing their move for former Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 1:00 pm

And, unsurprisingly, the duo gave the Scot a glowing reference, with Jackett being responsible for bringing the 28-year-old to Fratton Park in 2018.

That decision saw the former bit-part player for both Walsall and Shrewsbury amass 135 Pompey appearances and emerge as a Blues hero for his role in the 2019 Checkatrade Trophy final win against Sunderland, which was decided on penalties.

MacGillivray was also named as The News/Sports Mail player of the season for the 2020-21 campaign.

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But it wasn’t enough to earn him a new Fratton Park deal, with head coach Danny Cowley – who replaced Jackett in the Pompey hot seat in March – set to land highly-rated Manchester City youngster Gavin Bazunu on loan.

The keeper, who sent Blues fans are farewell message on Twitter, has already moved on, though.

MacGillivray signed a two-year deal with Charlton this week – and it looks like he might have to thank his former boss and assistant manager for the good word they put in as the Addicks prepared to make their move.

Charlton’s director of football is Steve Gallen – the brother of Joe.

Former Pompey boss Kenny Jackett with now Charlton keeper Craig MacGillivray during their Fratton Park days.
Former Pompey boss Kenny Jackett with now Charlton keeper Craig MacGillivray during their Fratton Park days.

He admitted he approached both Jackett and his older sibling following their respective Pompey departures to suss out the keeper’s quality.

And it appears the references provided helped push the deal over the line.

The Charlton chief told the club’s website: ‘I can speak to Joe a bit more now about it because, in a way, we were rivals before and we wouldn’t really speak too much about transfers and players.

‘But Joe’s gone with Kenny Jackett to Leyton Orient and so now maybe not as big a rivals, so of course I’ve been speaking to Joe about Craig, and he’s spoken very, very highly of him.

‘I also spoke to Kenny, and he also spoke very highly of him.’

Gallen also admitted that consistency was a word which often emerged during those and other conversations.

He added: ‘I think consistency is the main thing I’m thinking about with Craig.

‘Everyone I’ve spoken to has said that about him, and obviously we’ve been playing Portsmouth in the last couple of years and he’s always done well against us.

‘I think, in particular, he makes big saves, we’ve all seen that. But just generally, consistent, mature, good goalkeeper so pleased to get it done.’