Monthly Archives: April 2012

Goalkeeper Vision – spotting an opportunity

The following video was posted this week, and shows just how essential having good vision is to a goalkeeper. Not only does this Goalkeeper make the save, but also sees that the opposite Goalkeeper is way out of position and therefore starts an impressive counter attack, leading to a goal. This video is awesome – enjoy:

Goalkeeper training with Leicester City

To follow-up on the post on Kasper Schmeichel, check out this YouTube footage of Kasper and the other Leicester City Goalkeepers in training. I found this useful in planning some of my future sessions. However I am not sure about the stance in the set position…bit wide. That is definitely something I would look to improve on:

Goalkeeper spotlight: Kasper Schmeichel

With votes flying in for the Premier league’s 20 seasons, the biggest candidate for the best Goalkeeper over those 20 seasons must be Peter Schmeichel. He was such a great Goalkeeper that every goalkeeper after him at Manchester United had a lot to live up to! So spare a thought for his son, Kasper who people are already trying to match up against his old man!

The pressure on Kasper to be as good or better than his dad must be immense, but he isn’t doing too bad… Yes, he has some similar traits to his Dad, he makes mistakes (don’t we all!) but let’s face it he is only 25 and he is still developing. If he is like his dad, then he still has another 14 years of Goalkeeping to prove he is as good as we hope he is!

He has great potential and this potential was first really shown during his time at Notts County under Sven Goran-Eriksson where in the 2009-2010 season:

  • He kept 24 clean sheets in 43 games (this equated to a 55.8% ratio for clean sheets to games; and
  • Only conceded 29 goals in 43 matches. an impressive 0.67 goals conceded per game. 

Fast forward then to this season (2011-2012) with Leicester City (also signed by Sven Goran-Eriksson) and with only 1 match to go this Kasper has: 

  • Played in every league match this season (45 games);
  • Conceded 54 goals; and
  • Kept 14 clean sheets.

Yes that does mean that Kasper has conceded more (1.2 goals conceded per game) than at Notts county and the ratio for clean sheets to games is lower too at 31.1%. However at Leicester he has been far busier in goal than at Notts County! Kasper has actually had to cope with an astonishing 240 shots on target (far lower than my last goalkeeper spotlight blog for Adam Federici). Therefore if you based his stats on how busy he actually was, then at 54 goals conceded versus 240 shots on goal, means that he only conceded 0.2 goals per every shot at goal, which you have to say is very impressive. 

OK, he may not win the golden glove this season, but then that is difficult for any Goalkeeper that has to cope with that amount of shots on goal (a good point to remember for those student Goalkeepers), but how good a keeper is, is more than just clean sheets (another good point for the student Goalkeepers). So it isn’t a surprise to read in the press that he is being linked to moves to the premiership.

Kasper is most definitely one to watch and has every chance to emulate the success of his Dad. I can’t wait to see that – although it’s a shame he isn’t an English international!

Vision technicians – Goalkeepers need to be observant!

Vision Technicians… No, not window cleaners… Great goalkeepers!

For Goalkeepers must watch the ball, watch the players, follow the game … Basically be observant of everything and alert at all times.

The Benefits:

  • Having such an alert Goalkeeper can help the team and as previously posted, they can communicate what they are observing round the pitch to the other players;
  • Watching the game can get the Goalkeeper in the right position in front of the goal;
  • As practiced this week at the Academy actually stopping and waiting at least just a couple of seconds to watch the flight of the ball will actually help the Goalkeeper judge what they need to do to either catch the ball (hands, feet, position etc) or re-position for a ball they aren’t likely to catch (balls over head and that for example, they may need to then get into position for a shot from the opposite side of goal…); and
  • Improving alertness, means improved reactions (technical AND psychological development). Reacting quicker to situations, to move into position quicker (see earlier points) or to stick out that all important, last second, hand or foot…
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Sometimes Goalkeeper play games that not much happens. For young goalkeepers it is easy for their minds to wander in games such as these. With them being caught out when at a moments notice the action is at their goal. It is easier to encourage older Goalkeepers to keep alert, but they too can be caught out in similar situations. So you have to feel for all Goalkeepers in matches with not much action, so keeping the Goalkeepers alert can therefore sometimes be a challenge…

So as coaches we could:

  • Encourage them to get them more involved with their team-mates, by getting them to watch/follow the game and issue instructions at the back, keeping them and their team-mates alert;
  • Get them to feedback at half-time, full-time and if appropriate through the game on theirs and their team’s performance – this could ensure the previous point; and
  • Coach techniques: to keep them observant; to encourage movement, handling and positioning; to remind them to wait momentarily, judging the flight of a ball before moving to catch a high ball…etc.

As a coach I too have to be observant – I shall keep an eye on how my Goalkeepers get on and if they improve! 😉

2011-2012 Premiership’s Best Goalkeeper Poll

So I have already shown my cards as to who I think is the stand out Goalkeeper of the Premiership this Season. But you may disagree with me… especially as there has been some fantastic Goalkeeping examples by a number of the Goalkeepers in the top level.

Now is your chance to vote for your best in my poll.

Goalkeeper spotlight: Adam Federici

So Reading this week secured promotion but how much do they owe that to their Australian Goalkeeper, Adam Federici…

So far this season Federici has kept 14 clean sheets. And yes some goalkeepers with a similar amount of clean sheets this season have done so because of few shots on goal, meaning that the defence can also share the credit. This could be said of Federici, with only 125 shots on goal this season (compared with that previously posted about Frankie Fielding having 275 shots on goal!). However, this month has shown Federici’s true real class as a Goalkeeper, that so far this month he has kept 4 clean sheets against a barrage of 31 shots on goal…

The best of his performances being the match against their rivals for the Championship trophy, Southampton, who had 19 shots at goal and 12 on target. The scoreline could have been so much different if it wasn’t for Federici’s heroics, with Reading winning that game 3-1 to move into pole position.

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The Australian has of course grabbed the headlines in his home country:

The Australian Times:

The Australian:

Sydney Morning Herald:

The Telegraph (Australia):

And Australia should be proud, so too Reading and so too us Goalkeeper followers… with just 2 games left Reading are now promoted, and the Premiership gets another class Goalkeeping acquisition! 😉

Goalkeeper Positioning

Further to the previous post, Goalkeeper positioning can be viewed together with some helpful advice and tips in the following YouTube video clips:


Focussing on Goalkeeper improvement – Positioning

As said let us now then focus on realistic improvements, not focussing on those things that are rare, like keeping a clean sheet. Yes, if you do keep a clean sheet, well done. However as in my previous post focussing on something more realistic is better for you and your confidence.

So perhaps you may need to focus on your positioning?

As a Goalkeeper do you:

  • Follow the movement of the game while it is playing? – Do you move to the left side of your goal/area with play occurring on the left side of the pitch?
  • Move in line with the ball and the goal?
  • Come off your line and narrow the angle for the opposing player? – That you make the goal look smaller, which in essence makes you look bigger? 

If the answer is no or you feel you could do better, then these are areas to focus on in a game. Maybe it is that you are good at positioning but you may need to focus on speed of movement or balance as areas to further enhance and improve your skills in this area.

But as said before don’t focus on improving 100%, as development of skills takes time, so for example, in starting out maybe encourage yourself to just follow the movement of the game. As this is a good starting point as if you are following movement you are positioning yourself generally in line with the ball and the goal…

Goalkeeper spotlight: Frankie Fielding

With votes now coming in for your Premiership Goalkeeper of the season… Showing that this season has been good for Goalkeeping in the Premier League with the voting across a wide range of Goalkeepers… It got me thinking that maybe I should start a poll for Championship Goalkeeper of the season too…

Perhaps if I ran this poll, maybe we would see a number of votes for our star England U21 Goalkeeper, Frankie Fielding?

After this weekends display for Derby County against Ipswich Town, with the papers exclaiming that Frankie “was in unbeatable form”, he again showed just why he is rated so highly and perhaps showed Joe Hart that there is more competition coming in the future for his place in the Senior England team… Because, as per my previous article on the future looking bright for England, he is just one of a crop of future England star stoppers that can give us confidence in this position for years to come.

Frankie was a product of the Blackburn Rovers Academy, but the closest he came to the first team was on the subs bench. So instead he went out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers, Northampton, Rochdale, Leeds United and after a frustrated plea to want to play first team football, played for Derby on loan too. With clean sheets and impressive display helping Derby to remain a Championship club, Frankie signed for a bargain £400,000 this season.

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The reason I rate this young talent so highly, is because Frankie Fielding is a battler who just loves playing in goal and will do what he can to be no.1. Even if that means issuing a come and get me plea… His stats this season also show that he is definitely one to watch:

As at the 9th April Frankie Fielding at Derby County has:

  • Conceded 53 goals;
  • Kept 11 clean sheets in 41 games; and
  • Been one of the busiest Goalkeepers in the Championship, having to cope with 275 shots on goal, so conceding 53 goals and keeping 11 clean sheets against that barrage of shots is some feat!

With Frankie Fielding now on the fringes of the Senior England team and with these stats I am sure he is being looked at quite closely…. That with this such form, he could certainly be worthy competition for Joe Hart or one player that Premier League Clubs would soon be knocking on Derby County’s door…. What a great future prospect!

Goalkeeper Confidence

Here are a couple of sites to check out to find out further advice and guidance of how to keep confident and build confidence in goal:

Jeff Benjamin’s Goalkeeper Coaching Site:

Pilgrim Goalkeeper Coaching:

Some great words of advice and notes of experience. Now go on… believe in yourself!

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