LEARNING FROM THE BEST
Jethren Barr lists his influences as a young goalkeeper and those who have helped him develop his game to this point.
“The biggest influence a goalkeeper coach had on my career was Andre Arendse. He was the coach who worked with me from a young age, and I think that’s where most of your development comes in,” he said.
“He’s very good with younger goalkeepers, as he is with older ‘keepers, and I owe a lot of the technique that I developed in my younger years to him. From a goalkeeping point of view, I think most of my technique is very good and very sharp and you can see I’ve been well coached, and I have to credit to him for that.
“I also grew up watching a lot of goalkeepers who were good with their distribution when I was younger. I used to watch the likes of Rowen Fernandez when he played for Bafana Bafana and he had great distribution.
“I would practice it in the garden or at training and I would take a tyre and hit the ball through it from a distance. I broke a lot of my mom’s windows going about that!
“Itumeleng Khune was the next to come along and be good at it and I ended up watching him as well. I feel my distribution style grew into a mixture of them both and they both influenced my game.
“To have had Fernandez as a coach at Maritzburg United later obviously improved it even more, and he even told me that I can reach Khune’s level and that I remind him of Khune with my distribution.
“For me playing in Europe now, a lot of teams are looking for goalkeepers who that can play out from the back and distribute effectively and it’s something that I have already become known for here in Northern Ireland.”