I read the piece in the Evening Advertiser on Monday about Robbie and his battle to be able to walk and realised along with Karon (my girlfriend) that Robbie was the little boy who lived just over the road from us until recently when he and his family moved. It certainly made us stop and think about how we hustle and bustle our way through our lives cocooned in our own little world not really aware of whats going on out there and what others go through daily.
What I have put in place is that all members of Steve Hale Goalkeeping School will face 20 penalties which they will have to try and save as many as they can and raise sponsorship for as many as they can save. Alternatively they can seek donations (if they are not confident in their penalty saving techniqes). Even myself and Chippy will be putting ourselves in the firing line and facing 20 penalties each and we already have a number of pledges from family, friends and work colleagues so I assume they want to see us both peppered with shots!!
I have also through my role at Swindon Town been able to secure a signed Swindon Town shirt (many thanks to Jeremy Newton, Centre of Excellence Director for sorting that out for me) which is up for auction. I should also be raffling off some signed goalkeeping gloves donated by the 4 professional goalkeepers at Swindon (Dave Lucas, Phil Smith, Mark Scott & Jakub Jesionkowski). So all in all I hope this will prove a great event and we can raise as much money as possible for Robbie and his parents bid to take him to America for a 40k operation to help him walk.
Onto goalkeeping matters and last Monday night we had a good session where we worked on some game understanding with the goalkeepers and the need to communicate and organise efficiently and effectively. Working on their techniques is of course important but getting them to understand the roles of the outfield players and their role as goalkeeper behind them is also important. With the cold weather now upon us this is a good time to concentrate on this aspect as some of the goalkeepers can act as outfield players and regularly rotate into goal so all of them will be kept active and all will experience both sides of the coin so to speak. Getting them to see the dangers and then communicate the right information and at the right voice level is no easy task. Its amazing how loud Children can be maybe at home or in a school but when it comes to on a football pitch often they can go quiet all of a sudden!
On the Tuesday I had a long trek to Grays Athletic with Cirencester Town for our FA Trophy replay, not getting back until 1.15am on the Wednesday morning! Our goalkeeper Matty Bulman although not having lots of shots to save had a very good game in terms of his kicking and importantly his dealing with crosses. Matty in my opinion is the best I have seen so far this season in the Zamaretto Premier Division with his distribution skills, he not only gets good distance he gets the ball into an area or a target flat and quick and is consistent with his kicking. We came away with a deserved clean sheet and a 1-0 win to see us through to the next round.
The very next evening I had another fair drive this time to Andover for the Lions in the Community session where I coach the goalkeepers. In freezing cold conditions I also worked with the older group in particular also on their game awareness and communication skills and certainly made sure I kept them all moving as the temperatures dropped rapidly throughout the evening.
Onto the weather and the cold spell is already starting to cause problems as today I have already had to call off my Swindon Town Centre of Excellence goalkeeping session on Saturday morning due to the frozen training ground. Its important that all goalkeepers bring warm clothes to all sessions both with me and their respective clubs as you cannot perform to your best if you are cold and you also risk injury if your muscles aren't warm enough.
Thats all for now folks, have a good weekend!