A message from our Junior coaches…
It is very important that everyone understands what we ask our goalkeepers at the club to do.
This affects the whole team, not just the defence and it is worth being clear about so that all
parents and team-mates can be supportive in every way.
The club’s football philosophy is that up until the age of competitive leagues (U12s), football
decisions are significantly less important than early player development issues. Therefore, games
are first and foremost an opportunity for players to develop. This is more important than winning
every match. It is also more important than scoring a goal or not conceding a goal in a moment of
play. It is crucial that you understand this when it comes to understanding what we are asking
our goalkeepers to do.
Goalkeepers are told to play the ball out from the back EVERY TIME. This means throwing/rolling
it out short when the ball is in the goalkeeper’s hands and it means short passes when the ball is
on the ground. Even if there is no available pass on, with everybody marked, the goalkeeper
should still play the ball to the best placed team-mate. For many of us this is counter-intuitive but
it is what we want our goalkeepers to do.
Whilst this is partly for the development of the goalkeeper, it is also about the development of the
defenders and other team players who then receive the ball. We want there to be many situations
where players receive the ball from their keeper in difficult or tight situations as they then have to
develop their skills, awareness and passing to receive, protect and then pass the ball in a way
that means the team are taking good care of the ball.
There will be great moments of flowing football to enjoy, but there will also be goals conceded
and mistakes made – it is even possible that tight games will be lost because of this and yet it is
the right thing to do in the long-term.
What we cannot have is what was occurring last season, where keepers are being told to ‘smash
it long’ by parents or team mates and goalkeepers are being criticised by team-mates when they
receive a difficult ball and then lose the ball. The goalkeepers are only doing what they have been
told to do.
As competitive league tables kick in at later ages, we expect our goalkeepers and outfielders to
start blending their development habits with ‘game decisions’ so that we reach a more balanced
decision. Should I kick it long? Should I roll it out? Is the pass on? etc.
I hope that you join us in giving our goalkeepers every support and make sure that team-mates
understand what their goalkeepers are instructed to do. Players will develop at a faster rate if
they move into positions to demand the ball from the keeper or can anticipate where the next
pass is coming from.
Please do go through this with your child and please bear this in mind on