Trialist heads back to Australia, but will be back!
Sunday 13th December saw head coach Dean send off 17 year old Declan back to his native home, Australia.
Declan had visited us for the Pro-1 intense weeks trial course. This is where goalkeepers get to work with head coach Dean very closely, training up to 3 times a day. It’s often very hard for foreign goalkeepers to come to the UK and pursue their dreams of becoming a professional goalkeeper. Sometimes we wonder if there are coaches out there telling foreign goalkeepers that they should go to England and play in the Premier League as though it will be easy and they are sure to ‘make it’. This is in fact very far from the truth.
A lot of goalkeepers coming over have been coached by professional goalkeepers coaches who have never even played in top-flight football in England before and the fact that the role of goalkeeping has changed dramatically in the last five years. This makes it hard for us accepting foreign keepers as we have to adapt the individual to different techniques at a slow, careful pace to ensure it doesn’t have a negative effect on the goalkeeper psychologically. However Dean’s experience of playing and coaching in several different countries around the world becomes very beneficial as he is aware of most blueprints various countries teach, understands their techniques and can therefore adapt them very slowly.
Declan performed very well in this process and has shown good progression. In the first three days of the week we executed a lot of technical learning and understanding by demonstrating modern day goalkeeping techniques. This both helped improve his development and also allowed Declan to physically and mentally adapt.
Days four to seven were completely different, we increased the tempo and pushed him to his limits in terms of accepting failure and analysing his reaction. This involved putting Declan in several different drills focussed on the following four vital components of goalkeeping development: technical, physical, psychological & social.
Finally we were able to play Declan in a match for West Ham development team where we could monitor and analyse his attributes to the game so far. Overall Declan has done very well so we have made accommodation and training arrangements for Declan to return in January on a trial program until June 2018 to see if we can give this young lad a solid pathway with good foundation into English football.