May 31, 2007
One of our reader’s Andrew from Canberra in Australia contacted me the other day, and I must admit I was smiling from ear to ear at his story. Andrew’s is one of great love for the art of goalkeeping, with a dash of bravado that you can only expect from us madmen between the sticks. I’ll let Andrew tell his tale.
John,I have just uploaded 2 pics from the grand final last season which we won 1-0My name is Andrew McKellar and I play for Crossroads (http://www.crossroadssc.com/) in a churches league in Canberra. I’m 37 years old and started keeping 2 years ago and am loving it! I’m 189cm tall and weigh 97kg. I’ve always been very athletic and strong and found that keeping really suits me after spending nearly all my adult life at right-back. I hadn’t played for 10 years since I stopped playing at 24, played a season at right-back with Crossroads, and we had a game where no-one wanted to keep so I put my hand up and said I’d do it and have been keeping ever since!Unfortunately the 1st game of last season I badly broke my hand when I received a blow from a strikers boot when I smothered a shot at goal. I was back the next week playing on the field (in a cast) and after 4 games I was back in goals with a special hand protector I made to put inside my glove to stop my broken hand getting hurt. It was all worth it in the end when we won the premiership.This season we’ve played 6 games, won 5, and have scored 20 goals for and had 6 against, with 4 of those against us in the 1 game we lost.I quite like the 2nd photo I uploaded, caught at just the right time as I sent one long. My wife thinks I look like a ballerina in that photo!I only stumbled across the site a few days ago, it’s very interesting, keep up the good work.Andrew
May 31, 2007
Hungary makes some nice goulash, they also provided us with the powerful Puskas. In goalkeeping circles, the Hungarians have produced Gabor Kiraly, and it seems he doesn’t like the cold English weather much, with those grey goalkeeping pants he dons fearlessly. Overall, Kiraly is a good solid shot stopper, not a maestro by any means, but very well played as we see in the following video. Kiraly has signed with Burnley after 111 appearances with Crystal Palace, so it will be interesting to see how he performs, and supposedly…he should be an actor, not a goalkeeper. Supposedly Kiraly has a routine before kickoff where “he runs to the goal-line, touches the crossbar, and then stands still on the goal-line with his hands behind his back until the referee starts the match” (Wikipedia). Must be pre game jitters?
May 31, 2007
My jaw just dropped, mostly in complete and utter admiration. With the reflexes of a puma, Colombian goalkeeping maestro Oscar Cordoba has proven in leaps and bounds what it is to be a great goalkeeper. The one time Boca Juniors custodian is moving on from the professional playing sphere, and at the ripe age of 37 is deciding to hang up the gloves. Cordoba has shown some brilliant form over many years of playing, and I must admit that the following video is probably some of the best display of goalkeeping that I have come across in some time.
Cordoba shows super sharp reflexes, commitment in the goal area and beyond, and a steely confidence in the penalty shoot-out situation, something every young goalkeeper should aspire too. There has been speculation that Cordoba may move into coaching, but it seems that for this Colombian legend, family comes first. Enjoy the video.
May 30, 2007
How come when there is all this talk about contract negotiations in the media…players are dumbfounded by the news? The dumbstruck goalkeeper usually looks on blankly and suggests “I never heard about that”. Jussi Jaaskelainen is being hunted by Sunderland supposedly, and it will be interesting to see how hard they try to persuade the Bolton and Finnish shot-stopper to look toward a new lease on his professional goalkeeper life.
After 10 years, and the prospect of having a testimonial and an extended contract at a club where a goalkeeper has been professionally gorunded it would certainly be a hard decision to make. But then again, Jaaskelainen has stated he has never heard of the claim that Bolton had even started looking at his contract? But overall, I think that Jussi should look at staying on with Bolton in a purely professional sense.
So, should Jussi move on? What do you think?
Looking for a way to maximize your goalkeeping technique? Sign up for “10 Weeks To Goalkeeping Success” for free here.
May 29, 2007
Young Brad Jones has been at it for a long time. Starting at Middlesbrough as a teenager, this young goalkeeper has been earning his stripes as understudy for Mark Schwarzer and is currently vying for a spot in the Socceroos World Cup 2010 campaign.
Let’s face it, Schwarzer is a fantastic goalkeeper but time is definitely not on his side. I feel it will only be a matter of time before we see young Jones taking his goalkeeping game to greater heights.
Something that has resonated (and a lesson well learned by any young aspiring goalkeeper), is the need for patience. I know that if I hadn’t had ants in my own goalkeeper pants as a youngster I would have taken my game to the next level.
There is still plenty of time for Jones, and it will be interesting to see how he battles it out for a place against Adam Federici in the coming years. More importantly, I feel it will be a true test of resilience if Jones receives the Socceroos number 1 jersey.
May 29, 2007
If you are looking at whipping up into the best goalkeeping shape of your life, you may be stumped as to what is the most effective time to exercise. Check this simple rule of thumb to help take your goalkeeping performance to new heights.
Morning Training: The very best time to burn the bulge is early in the morning. Because the body is in a fasted state, you will be able to burn more fat as the body continues to use fat as an energy source while you are training.
Afternoon/Evening Training: If you want to build a great wall of goalkeeping strength, the very best times to train for lean, mean, muscle gain are late afternoon or early evening. The body releases special hormones during this optimal period to help maximize muscle strength.
So, choosing cardio in the morning is a great way to shed the pounds, while pushing weights in the evening is an awesome time to maximize your muscle strength. It’s a simple rule of thumb, scientifically proven and can take your goalkeeping performance to new heights.
May 27, 2007
Faster than Zorba doing a Greek dance, more powerful than a hard dose of ouzo, Dimitrios Konstantopoulos has saved more goals than any other goalkeeper in Europe, with 24 clean sheets for Hartlepool, and has now been given a free transfer to Coventry City. This Greek behemoth has some awesome reflexes, and the following video shows some super penalty stopping ability, and the man could possibly be a spokesperson for Powerade with that end pose!
May 27, 2007
Well it looks like Arsene Wenger has taken a bite at some bucks to bring in super talented 22 year old Polish goalkeeping sensation Lukasz Fabianski. The young lad looks set to run some hard and fast competition against Jens Lehmann in the Premiership season to come. Fabianski was one of the goalkeepers in the recent Polish World Cup squad, and Wenger believes the young gun goalkeeper will be one to watch in the future. From this following video you can see Fabianski has some great "point-blank" reflexes, and a great presence in the air. Very ballsy for a 22 year old!
May 23, 2007
I don’t quite know how clubs in the local Australian State & Premier Leagues here develop their football talent any more, I have not been privy to this for over a decade. What many of you may not know is that I trained in some of the best youth environments of Europe growing up. I know that in Croatia, Dinamo Zagreb is one of the best youth Academies in Europe, and have turned over some of the best players in the world, like Zvonimir Boban and others, for example. So too, does West Ham United have the best youth academy in England, they churn out stars. Sports science is one of the secrets to their success.
"Every department has been analysed and has its own specialists. We’ve got fitness staff and a sports science department.
"There are people looking at how to warm up, how to warm down and at the science behind strength building and stamina.
"But that’s progress. There’s always ways you can improve and you must keep doing that as a club.
"You may have the best facilities today, but five years down the line if you don’t improve, perhaps some people overtake you."
I know that back in the day, we never had a sports science department or a fitness professional on site. How things change in such a short period of time. In essence, it is difficult for any young player to progress their skills over a period of years, especially at a grass roots level here in Australia. Yes, we have great dedicated coaches and parents, but no…we don’t have dedicated resources for fitness trainers and sports science professionals. That costs money, and only larger clubs have the resources available for these kinds of resources. How nice would it be to have fitness professionals on call at smaller, grass roots clubs in Australia?
May 22, 2007
There is an old Babylonian proverb that states “Where The Determination Is, The Way Can Be Found”. Profound words indeed! First steps are usually the hardest. If you feel that putting on the goalkeeper gloves is drudgery or hard work, what are you really in the game for? It’s a good question to ask at the outset of your journey to develop greater goalkeeper ability. Another great question to ask is whether you would like to be a free man, or a slave?
“You’re weirding me out John!” you say. Yup, I always intended to weird you out. The question I asked above really resonates on many different levels. I had an epiphany of sorts whilst riding the train home tonight, that made me think how lucky each and every one of you are to have a God given talent to be a goalkeeper and play soccer. Don’t take that statement for granted, as it is what separates free men from slaves.
“Again, with the weird comment John?” Let me explain what I mean about this statement. Free men/women are the ones that have made the choice to follow their hearts, with a wise plan of action and advice from people whom have gone before them. In goalkeeping terms, this means you want to be a professional goalkeeper, you will not allow any situation to deter you, you have a great support team, and you go for the greater goal of becoming the best goalkeeper you can be…you do it with gusto. You my goalkeeping friend, are a free man/woman.
Now, the slave is the person who never fights for what they want, blames the world for his or her misfortune, and generally lets the sheep syndrome get the best of them (ie. “I like to follow everyone else, ’cause it’s the safe bet”). Doesn’t that self defeatist attitude suck. For what great goalkeeper have the Gods doth made, whom has not followed their passions and hearts desires to their fullest content? The answer, no great goalkeeper.
Now determination, just like that old Babylonian proverb, is the root of success in goalkeeping, and just about anything else in life. To that extent, lay out a road map that gives you a clear indication of your goals and desires, seek out the information you need from people who have gone before you, and you have literally planned your goalkeeping success. Pepper that plan with a tonnes of determination…you have one rocking goalkeeping adventure, and all the freedom in the world to execute it!