Monthly Archives: October 2017

If you believe you can achieve – Jodie Whiteman, West Bromwich Albion Goalkeeper 

The Worcester Goalkeeper Academy have a history of developing Goalkeepers, often getting great feedback from parents, players and coaches. It’s our passion and to hear that we have helped makes us incredibly proud. 

So to find out that one of our Goalkeepers has gone on to become a World Cup winner made us ecstatic!

Here’s a short piece from one of our former keepers, Jodie Whiteman:

I started playing for Droitwich Spa Ravens Girls, not just in goal but in a mixture of positions. However during that season, I was picked to attend the Worcester PDC, where I started playing in goal permanently. It was there that I met head coach, Julia West, who suggested I also attend the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy.

After 18 months at the Academy, I have gone from grassroots to playing for an RTC, West Brom. In addition after successful county trials in the 2016/17 season, I become the goalkeeper for Worcestershire.

In July 2017, I went with my U15 Worcestershire Team to the biggest world tournament for youth football, The Gothia World Cupin Sweden… and our team won the trophy!

I have achieved so much already and this shows that with determination and hard work you can get where you want. However I wouldn’t be the player I am today without the help of the Academy.

All the coaches at the Academy are nice and helpful. I would especially like to thank Julia (West) and Simon (Deam) for everything for me and my football in the last 18 months.

If you believe you can achieve – Jodie Whiteman, West Bromwich Albion Goalkeeper 

Worcester Goalkeeper Academy Coach Profile: Leanne Gelder

Lead Academy Coach


I have played as a goalkeeper since the age of eight, enjoying all of the aspects which this position encompasses (mental strength, good communication and leadership, football intelligence, physical strength, agility and stamina and quick reflexes). After a knee injury in my late teens, I switched my allegiance to football coaching, earning the FA Outfield Level 1, FA Goalkeeping Level 1, and FA Youth Modules 1 & 2 by the age of 18 and coached children aged 5-14 at a local club.

After completing my psychology degree at University I spent a year coaching at the largest football academy in the South Island of New Zealand, working with similar aged children and internationally qualified coaches, ranging from South American, Australian, South African, Bulgarian and New Zealand. On my return home I decided to focus exclusively on goalkeeping coaching. From this, I completed placements at the Wolverhampton Wanderers Regional Talent Centre and the Queen’s Park Rangers’ Midlands Academy, before joining the Worcester Goalkeeping Academy on a permanent basis, enjoying the community feel and positive, progressive nature of this Academy and the enthusiastic, community and player development focused syllabus and focus.  

During this time I have earned my FA Outfield Level 2, FA Goalkeeping Level 2, UEFA B Goalkeeping Award and FA Talent Identification Awards. I am currently completing the FA Youth Award Level 3 and hope to complete the FA Psychology Level 5, Talent Identification Level 2 and UEFA B Outfield in the next coming years.


Producing quality players is no doubt important and, as coaches, we always look to see improvement on a continual level. However, this development into better players also translates to better individuals, both on and off the field. As such, I look for development across a variety of aspects; technical, physical, tactical, social and psychological. 

I believe that all players should have the opportunity to realise their dreams and aspirations, whether that is on or off the field, and I aim to provide a process for success, rather than the answers to success, as I believe that individuals learn more efficiently in this manner. As every child learns in different ways I aim to incorporate different methods of learning into the sessions, respecting individual differences and providing fun sessions, where players can develop and learn in fun, game realistic sessions and in a friendly, nurturing environment.

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