Good goalies

Kids hop­ing to be the next Craig Gor­don

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sports -

un­der Cam­bus­lang man Dar­ren Young at Al­bion Rovers dur­ing the three best sea­sons in the club’s his­tory. And on Wed­nes­day, June 7, young keep­ers from the ages of eight and up were handed the chance to come and train like the pro­fes­sion­als and im­prove their skills.

Split into four groups, the young­sters were able to de­velop their han­dling, agility and re­ac­tions. The first sta­tion would in­volve some warm up-style drills to get the young­sters jump­ing, catch­ing and div­ing for balls thrown into them.

An­other sec­tion fo­cussed on re­ac­tion in goal while the third sta­tion saw coaches set out agility drills in­volv­ing cones and hur­dles.

The fi­nal sec­tion was all about shot­stop­ping where kids were able to get their hands on the ball as much as pos­si­ble, an im­por­tant fac­tor in the evening ac­cord­ing to coach Ross.

“It went re­ally well,” he said. “We had over 60 kids there and the feed­back af­ter­wards from par­ents has been ex­cel­lent.

“We had four sta­tions and we stopped some of the way through the night to talk about things but it wasn’t as much a coach­ing ses­sion due to time con­straints. It was more about giv­ing ev­ery­one as much touches of the ball as pos­si­ble and show­ing what we do here.”

Un­for­tu­nately, no SPFL pro­fes­sional goalkeepers were able to make it on the evening but Ross, who has run the academy for eight years, was pleased all who at­tended had a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

He said: “For me, as much as I have worked with top se­nior goalkeepers and ones at in­ter­na­tional youth or un­der 21s, it’s some­thing re­ally spe­cial to watch an eight-year-old ma­ture into a great goal­keeper.

“Six of our kids from our academy are now in­volved in un­der 20s or first team foot­ball at clubs and most of them we had here aged 13.

“We had one of them there, Kieran Hughes, who I had with me at Al­bion Rovers and now he is play­ing for Kil­birnie Ju­niors.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about Ross’ academy, visit http://www. save­handsgk.com/

Words of wis­dom Kieran Hughes, of Kil­birnie Lade­side, lends his ad­vice

Fun times The kids loved the open day at the Save­hands Goal­keeper Academy

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