Wednesday, 30 July 2014

!! Poole Town gks for 2014/15 season !!

Poole Town goalkeepers for 2014/15 season with Robbie at the game at Tatnam v Blackfield & Langley. 
Ben Manley & Nick Hutchings both played a half each. Nick saved a penalty in the first half and Ben had a good steady game second half.  Poole beat Blackfield & Langley 2-1 in the end.
Ben, Robbie & Nick
BTS wishes Nick & Ben A great season. 


Thursday, 17 July 2014


In any other walk of life it would be almost impossible to have a successful recruitment policy if you could only select from 1.7% of your potential targets. Imagine having to discard 98.3% of your candidates before you even started, so instead of choosing a card from roughly two decks, you could only choose one card out of two.
This 98.3% are not discarded because of a lack of skill or a lack of ambition, they do not have behavioural problems or are violent in nature and some are more than capable to be given a chance to at least attempt a career.
Why do we ignore this majority? We discard this massive majority because of their size, even before we know whether, despite their height or lack of it, they can actually do a good job.
1.7% of kids will grow to be 6ft 3 or more. Even at this height some of our category one academies will deem the child too small and release them before any of his potential has been uncovered, he`ll be released before they know his agility capacity, or any of his other physical components that may well more than compensate for a lack of height.
Is there any such thing as the perfect goalkeeper? We all have our ideals or philosophy on how we think goalkeepers should act in any given situation, but is this ideal embodied in one goalkeeper or a mix up of several? Are we guilty of trying to take attributes from the world’s best keepers and then trying to squeeze all of these ideals into one mouldable child? If so, is this something to feel guilty about?
If we are trying to achieve the above do we have to consider that a 6ft 4 goalkeeper may never be able to produce the foot speed of a 5ft 10 goalkeeper? Can a 5ft 10 goalkeeper compensate for a lack of height by using this advantage to get across his goal quicker allowing him to make the same saves as his taller counterpart? As coaches are we guilty of being so stuck in our ways that we try to make all goalkeepers in our charge the same, and do not allow for their physical differences. Do we for example coach the taller keepers to save with their feet and the smaller ones to collapse quickly? Alternatively, do we coach the same techniques to all of them?
I am sure that the majority of coaches will have their perfect goalkeepers standing 6ft 4. They will be agile and fast, be able to play from the back and clear huge distances with their distribution. They will dominate crosses and take charge of their back line. However, is this realistic? How many goalkeepers in the current World Cup could you apply these attributes too? The best keepers in the world maybe, but the rest of us mere mortals? Are we always looking for the best keepers in the world, or just those that can do a job for the level of team we coach?
Even when analysing this World Cup some of the best keepers would not fit into the popular ideal as written above. Hugo lloris is regarded as one of the best, he stands just over 6ft 1, if an Academy had tested him as a child and it was revealed that this was going to be his height as an adult, would he have been released and France denied the services of one of their best ever goalkeepers?
Iker Casillas is undoubtedly the most successful International goalkeeper in recent history. He has won 13 domestic trophies with Real Madrid and been the only goalkeeper to have won three consecutive major international tournaments, the European Cup in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup sandwiched in between in 2010. Casillas stands at just over 6ft! Would he have been released at a young age had he been born British rather than Spanish?
Victor Valdes has won 15 major trophies with Barcelona. He is widely proclaimed as the best goalkeeper in the world at playing out from the back, as well as being a great shot stopper and formidable in 1v1 situations. How tall is he? Just under 6ft. where would he be plying his trade had he been assessed in the UK?
These are three examples but there are many. How many potential world-class goalkeepers have been pushed aside in the UK over the years?
If we were to ask any of our top clubs with category 1 Academies whether they would have these goalkeepers in their 1st teams I am sure the answer would be yes. But how many future Valdes`s, Casillas`s or Lloris`s have been rejected before they were given a proper chance?
My main grievance is this question. Who makes this blueprint of the ideal goalkeeper? Do we as goalkeeper coaches or do the Academy Managers? I would say it is the latter. If we agree that the selection criteria lies with the managers of our Academies then I have more questions for you. How many of these people in charge were goalkeepers? How many have any qualifications in goalkeeping? How many have ever taken a group of goalkeepers for any length of time? Why are we as goalkeeper coaches who have to do double the amount of coaching courses as our outfield colleagues allowing people with little or no knowledge of our position dictate our selection criteria?
My opinion is this. Our Academies put most, if not all of the importance on a potential goalkeeper’s height, and not his inherent abilities that might make him into a top goalkeeper. Their opinion is that it is easy to turn a tall child into a goalkeeper, that a tall kid with little ability is a better prospect than an average height kid with bags of potential.
To finish, we need to select our future goalkeepers on how well they can do their job. This should surely be the only fact that matters. I have seen tall goalkeepers routed to their line when small keepers in the Fabien Barthez mould are dominant. I have also seen tall children with quicker feet than a lumbering small child. We should not judge whether a young goalkeeper has the ability to make the grade, at whatever standard you coach, by how tall he is, or how tall he is projected to be at a certain age. It should be judged on how well he trains and more importantly how he performs in matches.
As coaches we have to give our keepers the tools to succeed, can we coach smaller keepers the abilities they need to make up for their apparent disadvantage.
Let the people who have dedicated their football lives to goalkeeping determine what the future of goalkeeping is going to look like. Are we going to have a future of all 6ft 5 keepers the majority of which play in goal because they were not good enough to play on pitch? Alternatively, are we going to have a mix of all size of goalkeepers who all dreamed of playing in goal from a young age and believe they were born to play there? I believe that only with the latter will goalkeeping in the UK ever retain the reputation it had in the eras of Shilton, Southall and Banks, none of whom would have made it through todays selection process!


!! AFC Bournemouth Goalkeeping 4 Corner Model by Neil Moss !!

AFC Bournemouth goalkeepers need to be confident handling the ball with both their feet and hands. Our goalkeepers have a big responsibility to be able to keep possession whenever they have to restart a match. Because of our reputation as a footballing team our opposition work hard to try to stop us playing, attempting to cut out all of our options to play short, and in doing so trying to force us into long clearances.
Therefore, our goalkeepers have to be confident in every technique of kick and throw, and be able to produce these distribution types quickly, under pressure and consistently. This is only possible with a high volume of repetition during the weekly training programme. Consistency of weight and type of pass are only achieved by the confidence in your knowledge that you have practiced every type of pass almost on a daily basis. Outfield players are only confident in their ball control and passing because they do it every day, and we as goalkeepers cannot be any different.
All professional and potential professional goalkeepers are highly proficient in making difficult saves appear easy, being able to make saves look effortless, and this is what sets us apart from standard goalkeepers. As with distribution, this can only be accomplished with hours of practice on the training ground. A keeper should have the knowledge and confidence to be able to deal with the same type of shot in the exact same way every time it occurs during training and match play; this is the only way to be consistent as a shot-stopper.
Positioning and set positions need to be the same every game. It is easy, especially for a younger keeper to vary his positioning depending on how he feels that day. It is imperative for consistency over a season that a goalkeeper grounds in where his position is in relation to the ball so he knows with certainty if a shot is going wide, over or on target. He cannot do this if his positioning changes from day to day or match to match.
A goalkeepers cross taking technique is more to do with spring, power and footwork. In my opinion, too much time is taken up by talking about which leg you jump off or other details that are not that important. With spring, agility and speed a goalkeeper has the tools he needs to dominate his goal area.
The most important aspects to think about are height and timing. With height, you get above opponents and timing allows you to claim the ball at your optimum speed making inevitable collisions less likely to end up in a fumble.
Height is achieved with good plyometric ability. Specific training to improve standing jumps and being able to spring on the move needs to be a big part of the professional goalkeepers training week. Good footwork is of paramount importance. With this ability, you can avoid players in a crowded goalmouth, correct pathways to the ball when a misjudgement of ball flight has occurred and most importantly come and gather crosses out of reach of slower goalkeepers.
All aspects of goalkeeping technique are improved and maintained with hard work and consistent good coaching practices.
Long gone are the days when goalkeepers are just there to keep the ball out of the net.
As mentioned AFC Bournemouth utilise their keepers to kick start counter attacks, slow down or speed up a match depending on the stage of the game or score line, play the correct pass to counteract the oppositions formations and strategies and always attempt to keep possession whenever he distributes the ball.
He can only do this by having in-depth knowledge of how we as a club set our teams up positionally, how we play against varying opposition tactics and being able to adapt quickly to any changes during match play.
Continuous work off the training pitch is needed. Pre and post-game analysis of every time the keeper has possession of the ball. Evaluation of options and decisions made need to be scrutinised so the goalkeeper has the ability to visualise what the pitch looks like from above so his options become clearer than the often two-dimension view he has during matches. Being able to see space and distance from a straight on, pitch level vantage point is difficult so the tool of visualisation is one needed to be able to consistently find the right passes.
Confidence, control, thick skin and an ability to be a leader are all attributes needed to be a top goalkeeper.
We will face criticism, some unfairly, on a regular basis. It will appear to a young goalkeeper that they are often the scapegoat whenever a team plays badly or loses. We have to understand that the difficulties of playing in goal can only be recognised by those that have experienced it, or those that have shown an interest in learning about the position, therefore the criticisms we receive are sometimes misguided. However, even in the most inaccurate evaluation of a match or training session there may be some good advice, so you have to be strong enough to accept people’s opinions humbly whilst filtering out the good advice from the bad.
A goalkeeper has to be even tempered. He must maintain a consistent demeanour from day to day. He cannot be all hyperactive one day and dead on his feet the next. In order to achieve this, his lifestyle has to be suited to giving him the best chance of feeling a hundred percent every time he dons his gloves.
A manager needs to trust his goalkeeper; he needs to know he can be relied on to perform to his best every time he plays. A bad goalkeeping performance, more than any other position will have the most adverse effect on the team’s chances for a positive result.
Strength of character is easy to talk about but hard to achieve. Confidence comes from an inner belief, a feeling  that he is ready for any situation and is worthy of his place in the team. Self-doubt is easily spotted and preyed upon by the opposition, supporters and even team mates, a goalkeeper has to project confidence at all times. He is the last line of defence and the first line of attack; he has the most responsibility out of any player. In my opinion only with the knowledge that I have done all I can to be the best I can be can I truly hold my head high in any situation.
Recovering from mistakes during and after a match is the biggest test of a goalkeeper’s psychology. Being able to perform with constant crowd abuse and intimidation from opponents is often difficult. Goalkeepers need to have a healthy hatred of conceding goals, they cannot be afraid to make a mistake, that just leads to nervousness but they cannot just dismiss it either. A philosophical reaction is needed, an ability to be subjective and learn from errors. This is achieved by never getting carried away when you play well and not beating yourself up after a bad day, remembering we learn the most about ourselves during the difficult times. We need to face the problem head on, discuss it with a coach, learn from it and move on.
A goalkeeper needs to be trusted by his teammates. They have to have faith in his decisions and have no fear in making the right choice when playing back passes. A nervy looking goalkeeper has a negative effect on all those around him, reliable defenders start making bad decisions in order to protect the goalkeeper, the entire team play deeper because they aren’t being directed from behind, players don’t take proper positions from restarts because the goalkeeper has lost confidence to make tough decisions when trying to play out.
A goalkeeper is the foundation of the team; he is the driving force that pushes his team on. He should dish out encouragement and instruction continually during a game.
In order to achieve the above, goalkeeper’s teammates need to respect him as a person and as a player. He can be a joker in the changing room and enjoy all the banter that comes with being in football, but he must know where to draw the line. If he is to be trusted on the pitch, he must be trustworthy off it. His team mates need to see that he does all he can in preparation for the match ahead, he should be beyond reproach.
This writing has mentioned consistency more than any other attribute. This is achieved with consistency in all aspects of life. You cannot train or play consistently if you have poor or differing preparation leading up to training or match days.
Reliability is key, a manager or coach likes nothing more than having players they can rely on for every facet of working life.
Dedication is required for any goalkeeper that wants to play for AFC Bournemouth.
We have to work longer and harder than anybody else because we have more work to do. We need to be goalkeepers and outfield players, we have to be more agile, quicker and stronger, more durable and most of all more consistent than our outfield teammates. 
We only achieve this by being relentless in our pursuit of excellence.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

!! CPD Morning great success !!

Fantastic morning in the sunshine at Canford this morning with the FA CPD event. Martin & Charlie helped me deliver the 2 hour sessions.  20 coaches attended the event which is good for a Saturday morning. So far the feed back is good everyone seemed to enjoy what we delivered. Hopefully some good information to take back to the clubs where the coaches work with their goalkeepers. Thanks to Andy Battison for organising the event through Dorset FA. Mossy & myself  are very proud to be associated with the County FA at BTS. 

More CPD events will be organised in the future. Photos will follow shortly. 



Saturday, 5 July 2014

!! Continues Professional Development CPD at BTS !!

Hi Everyone. 

Next Saturday 12th July 2014 BTS will be delivering a FA CPD (continues professional development) Club event at Canford Arena on the grass pitches (not the 3G) This event is targeted towards introduction to goalkeeping for grass root coaches that may want to look into working towards goalkeeping level 1 qualification. 

If you would like to attend this free event please contact Andy Battison at the Dorset FA on 01202 688279 to book your place. (Not between the sticks)

Between the sticks have delivered many CPD events over the years & have always been well received. 

Look forward to seeing you there. 


Robbie & Mossy.