“A good goalkeeper is worth 15 points a season.” – Sir Alex Ferguson
Lots of people (especially in youth soccer) sometimes do not give the goalkeeping position the attention that it requires. There is as much nuance and skill-acquisition in goalkeeping as there is with any other position on the field. At Okanagan FC, we have made it a priority to improve our goalkeeping programs, and have been delighted at the progress our keepers have made under the guidance of Tom McGill (Our specialized goalkeeping instructor). We hope that over the next few phases, Okanagan FC develops a reputation for developing quality young keepers through excellent training and instruction.
“For a goalkeeper, there is no hiding place.” – Brad Friedel
The goalkeeping position in soccer is a unique challenge, and is unlike any other role on the team. A strong goalkeeper will never be able to win a game on their own, but they can certainly save one! Similarly, a weak goalkeeping moment can cost a team 90 minutes of hard work in one single moment if the goalkeeper is unprepared or makes a mistake.
So what are the building blocks of a quality goalkeeper? Of course athleticism is important… power, agility and quickness are crucial components when considering the desired qualities in a keeper. They must also be proficient with their diving and handling ability through a wide variety of situations, ranging from shot-stopping to the ability to intercept crosses and through-passes before they materialize in a shooting opportunity. These key attributes must also be layered on top of excellent balance/footwork, a quality and consistent set position, and a solid understanding of positioning in relation to the goal.
The modern goalkeeper must also possess good ability with the ball at their feet, and be comfortable with starting attacks from the defense, this puts a demand on goalkeepers that they be comfortable with receiving the ball from their defenders, as well as being able to distribute competently through a range of short/long passes, aerial kicks and throws/rolls.
Of course, this doesn’t even touch on a keeper’s ability to effectively organize and communicate with their defenders…
“As a goalkeeper, you need to be good at organizing the people in front of you and motivating them. You need to be able to see what’s going on and react to the threats.” – Peter Shilton
At Okanagan FC, our specialized goalkeeper coach is very familiar with the challenges of training competitive young goalkeepers, and looks to guide our players throughout the learning process by delivering a variety of focused, engaging and challenging sessions. OFC Goalkeeper training will be an enjoyable and satisfying fit for any aspiring goalkeepers.