Dave Lucas Interview Blog
Following on from my first interview with AFC Bournemouth Goalkeeping coach Neil Moss, this week I caught up with former Swindon Town goalkeeper Dave Lucas who I got to know during his time with Swindon. Dave has made over 300 professional appearances and although still a current professional at Championship side Birmingham City he is also now starting to get more involved with the coaching side of the game. From experience I saw at close hand how encouraging Dave was with the younger goalkeepers at Swindon so I think he will prove to be an excellent coach!
What is your coaching background and who do you currently coach?
I am currently a member of the first team squad at Birmingham City, alongside which i am head of academy goalkeeping at
Preston North End. I consider myself on the first few rungs of the coaching ladder with loads to learn and am looking forward to the challenge.
Last season I was player/1st team GK coach at Rochdale F.C, great experience but not sure I would take on a dual role again.
What goalkeeping coaches have impressed you over the years and why?
Over the years i have been lucky to have had the pleasure of working with some truly great GK coaches. Mike Kelly and Peter Bonetti whilst involved in the England set-up, both had unique personalities and had such depths of knowledge. Working with Mike in the summer of 1996 is an experience I will never forget, and he influenced my GK mentality and technique more than anybody before or since.
At club level, Billy Mercer, Jim Blythe, Roy Tunks, John Lukic, Andy Beasley, Pete Williams, George Wood, Eric Nixon, Kelham O'Hanlon and currently John Vaughan have all passed on invaluable advice over the years.
What is your coaching philosophy or what is important to you when coaching goalkeepers?
As far as coaching philosophy goes I firmly believe that positivity is the key. Whether that be footwork, starting position, decision making, communication or whatever, give me a positive keeper every time.
How would you prioritise the various different aspects of goalkeeping coaching?
For me, the basic priorities of goalkeeping have and will always be the hands and feet. The quicker/stronger the GKs feet, the easier he will find it to get into position to make saves, come for high/through balls and of course will help with the GKs distribution. Good hands is taken for granted but cannot be overstated, when working with younger GKs I like to stress the basics of good hands linking in to the "set" position and how the hands and feet work in tandem.
How would your coaching differ across the younger age ranges up to senior goalkeepers?
As I said above working with youngsters for me is all about nailing down the basics and encouraging their enjoyment for playing in goal. I like to keep the sessions I do with schoolboys really light-hearted and fun. When working with the scholars at PNE I still believe the basics of hands and feet are the platform to work from, along with emphasising the role of the keeper within the team. The need for a strong and positive mentality is something I try to impress upon the lads.
Nowadays there are many different pieces of equipment that can be used when coaching goalkeepers such as ladders, poles, rebound nets, response balls (balls with lumps on that bounce differently to create reaction saves), what do you think about using this type of equipment?
Keeping training fun and interesting is a challenge for all coaches, if different pieces of equipment can help that then i'm all for it. Jumping over three hurdles, doing a forward roll and making a save isn't something that has happened too regularly in any matches I have played in so I don't like to over do it though.
Rebound boards are a favourite of mine to use as it adds a bit of variation to some of my drills. The response balls are something that I am very keen to try out its just I haven't got around to them just yet.
What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach?
The most satisfaction I get as a coach is always at the end of a session, knowing that the lads have enjoyed themselves and taken a few pointers on board to use in their up coming matches.
I would just like to personally thank Dave for taking the time out to answer my questions.
Watch this space for the next in the series of interviews coming up shortly................................