Neil Alexander

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For the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, see Neil Alexander (bishop).
Neil Alexander
Neil Alexander.jpg
Personal information
Full name Neil Alexander
Date of birth (1978-03-10) 10 March 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Heart of Midlothian
Number 1
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1998 Stenhousemuir 41 (0)
1998–2001 Livingston 60 (0)
2001–2007 Cardiff City 213 (0)
2007–2008 Ipswich Town 29 (0)
2008–2013 Rangers 59 (0)
2013–2014 Crystal Palace 0 (0)
2014– Heart of Midlothian 1 (0)
National team
1997–1999 Scotland U21[1] 10 (0)
2003 Scotland B 1 (0)
2006 Scotland 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 April 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 March 2010

Neil Alexander (born 10 March 1978) is a Scottish professional footballer, who plays as a goalkeeper for Heart of Midlothian. He has previously played for Stenhousemuir, Livingston, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town, Rangers and Crystal Palace. He has also represented Scotland at under-21, B level and as a full internationalist.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He grew up a fan of Heart of Midlothian.[2] Alexander started his career with Stenhousemuir before moving to Livingston in 1998, where he was part of the Scottish First Division title-winning side of 2001. He made his Livingston debut on 3 October 1998 against Partick Thistle.

Cardiff City[edit]

On 28 May 2001 he joined Cardiff City for £200,000[3] and in six years at Ninian Park played over 200 games for the Bluebirds, including helping them win promotion to the Football League Championship. During his time at Cardiff, Alexander became a fan favourite and manager Lennie Lawrence was heavily criticised on several occasions after attempting to replace him with Tony Warner.[citation needed] During the 2006–07 season he became embroiled in a contract dispute with the club which left him refusing to sign a new contract.[4][5] Cardiff manager Dave Jones replaced Alexander as first choice for the last two months of the season with David Forde. His last appearance for Cardiff was on 31 March in a 1–0 defeat to Sunderland and at the time of his departure he was the longest serving player at the club.[6]

Ipswich Town[edit]

On 16 July 2007 he put pen to paper on a deal with rival Championship side Ipswich Town.[7] On his arrival at Portman Road Alexander immediately became first choice goalkeeper at the club. He made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on 11 August 2007. Alexander made 31 appearances for Ipswich during his six-month spell.

Rangers[edit]

On 30 January 2008, Rangers agreed a deal with Ipswich Town for the transfer of Alexander and he signed a three and half-year contract later that day. The transfer was believed to be a free with add-ons related to success, although it was officially undisclosed.[8]

Alexander made his debut for Rangers on 3 February 2008, after Allan McGregor had been sent off in the Scottish Cup against Hibernian.[9] On 16 April, Alexander made his Old Firm debut as a 77th minute substitute for the injured McGregor. He then played a vital role in Rangers' UEFA Cup and Scottish Cup semi-final wins, where he made important saves when both games were decided by penalty shoot-outs.

Alexander was promoted to first choice keeper at Rangers in April 2009, after McGregor was suspended for a late night drinking session with then Rangers and Scotland captain, Barry Ferguson. Alexander remained in goal until the end of the season, winning a league and cup double. The following season McGregor returned to first choice goalkeeper[10] but Alexander played in all matches of the successful 2009-10 Scottish League Cup campaign, including the final against St. Mirren.[11]

In the pre season testimonial game for Queen of the South's Jim Thomson, Alexander came on at half time as a substitute for Queens despite being on the Rangers bench.[12]

Alexander continued as second choice keeper in the 2010–11 season, but signed a new contract with the club.[13] He played in the League Cup ties and won his third League Cup honour with Rangers on 20 March 2011, in a 2–1 extra time win over Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Following Charles Green's purchase of Rangers' business and assets, Alexander was one of the few players to agree to have his contract switched to Green's company.[14] With Allan McGregor having refused to transfer his contract, Alexander became first choice 'keeper at Rangers. Alexander left Rangers at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Crystal Palace[edit]

After leaving Rangers in the summer he later signed for Crystal Palace on a 1-year-deal on 14 August 2013.[15] He made his debut in a 2-1 League Cup defeat at Bristol City on 27 August 2013. He was released by Palace at the end of the 2013–14 season.[16]

Hearts[edit]

Alexander signed for Heart of Midlothian in June 2014.[17]

International career[edit]

Alexander was first called up for Scotland during the 2002 Far East tour but did not receive a cap.[18] He made his Scotland debut as a 49th minute substitute in a friendly against Switzerland in 1 March 2006.[19] Alexander also played a part in Scotland's 2006 Kirin Cup win and played both matches against Bulgaria and Japan.

Career statistics[edit]

As of 11 August 2014[20]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other[21] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Stenhousemuir
1996–97 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
1997–98 36 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 39 0
Total 41 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 45 0
Livingston
1998–99 21 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 26 0
1999–2000 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
2000–01 26 0 3 0 2 0 5 0 36 0
Total 60 0 8 0 2 0 5 0 75 0
Cardiff City
2001–02 48 0 4 0 1 0 - 53 0
2002–03 43 0 4 0 1 0 - - 48 0
2003–04 25 0 0 0 0 0 - - 25 0
2004–05 17 0 0 0 2 0 - - 19 0
2005–06 46 0 1 0 1 0 - - 48 0
2006–07 39 0 2 0 0 0 - - 41 0
Total 218 0 11 0 5 0 - - 234 0
Ipswich Town
2007–08 29 0 1 0 0 0 - - 30 0
Total 29 0 1 0 1 0 - - 31 0
Rangers
2007–08 8 0 4 0 0 0 3 0 15 0
2008–09 11 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 14 0
2009–10 5 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 9 0
2010–11 1 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 7 0
2011–12 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2012–13 33 0 3 0 4 0 3 0 43 0
Total 59 0 9 0 14 0 8 0 90 0
Crystal Palace
2013-14 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Heart of Midlothian
2014–15 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Career total 408 0 30 0 24 0 16 0 478 0

Honours[edit]

Livingston
Cardiff City
Rangers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Neil Alexander". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Neil Alexander set to make his Hearts debut against old club Rangers after keeper agrees Tynecastle deal". dailyrecord.co.uk. Daily Record. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cardiff sign keeper". BBC Sport. 28 May 2001. 
  4. ^ "Alexander rejects Cardiff offer". BBC Sport. 10 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Alexander given Cardiff ultimatum". BBC Sport. 11 March 2007. 
  6. ^ "Bluebirds exit saddens Alexander" BBC Sport. 12 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Ipswich sign goalkeeper Alexander" BBC Sport (17 July 2007)
  8. ^ "Rangers sign Ipswich goalkeeper". BBC Sport (BBC). 30 January 2008. 
  9. ^ "Hibernian 0–0 Rangers". BBC Sport (BBC). 3 February 2008. 
  10. ^ "Alexander treated harshly – Smith". BBC Sport (BBC). 16 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Rangers' Allan McGregor set to be on cup final bench". BBC Sport (BBC). 20 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Keeper problems for Kenny", www.qosfc.com
  13. ^ "Neil Alexander signs new Rangers deal". BBC Sport (BBC). 4 November 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Rangers: Players attend Murray Park for fitness tests". BBC Sport (BBC Sport). 28 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Neil Alexander: Crystal Palace sign former Rangers goalkeeper". BBC Sport (BBC Sport). 15 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Parr, Moxey and Gabbidon Among 12 Released". Crystal Palace. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Hearts: Goalkeeper Neil Alexander signs player-coach deal, BBC Sport
  18. ^ "Alexander earns Faroes place" BBC Sport. 27 August 2002.
  19. ^ "Scotland 1–3 Switzerland" BBC Sport. 1 March 2006.
  20. ^ Neil Alexander career stats at Soccerbase
  21. ^ Europe and Scottish Challenge Cup

External links[edit]