Kick Off

LEARNING FROM THE BEST

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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.”

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