Between the bars
BFA, CONCACAF focusing on fixing goalkeeping crisis
Regional football has a goalkeeping crisis and CONCACAF is moving towards rectifying that unwanted situation.
That’s the plan as outlined by CONCACAF goalkeeping instructor Claine Plummer during today’s opening ceremony for a CONCACAF Goalkeeping Coaching Course, held at the Barbados Olympic Association.
Noting that the region had not produced outstanding custodians for a very long time, Plummer added there were too many goalkeeping trainers and insufficient goalkeeping coaches. He stressed that there was a big difference between the two disciplines. The Costa Rican who currently resides in the United States also pointed out that the game had evolved and therefore each country within the region needed to focus a lot more on grassroots programmes, identify players and scout talent at an early age.
“The manner of the game has changed a lot. Therefore our sharpness and ability to compete at the level the game requires, is for us to have a very systematic approach in how to prepare our future goalkeepers to be competitive on the world stage. My goal is to bring awareness to the region because we have not produced top level goalkeepers in the region for a very long time therefore that is something that has to be done from the grassroots level.
“There are too many goalkeeper trainers and there is a big difference between a goalkeeper coach and goalkeeper trainer. We need to start finding coaches that coach players how to play the game and that is what a goalkeeper coach does during training. A goalkeeper trainer just do drills, do things that they probably would not face in a game. Therefore it really puts a setback in the development of the players. Hopefully from these courses we can start developing more goalkeeper coaches in order for them to coach the game better and for the players to also perform better in the games,” Plummer explained.
The four-day course that commenced today and will conclude on Friday has attracted the likes of national goalkeeper Kishmar Primus also a member of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme football team, Romayne Primus of Eden Stars Football Club, and Rhea Holder who plays for the National Sports Council women’s football team. About 32 persons are participating, inclusive of five females.
Plummer, the lone CONCACAF goalkeeping instructor in the region added that more goalkeeping instructors were needed.
“I have been travelling throughout the region doing these courses and hopefully if there is more awareness and more demand for these particular courses there might be more goalkeeping instructors coming on board. But we need to bring in instructors that have a complete philosophy of the game. Old school doesn’t work anymore because the game has changed and evolved and what we are trying to do with CONCACAF is keep up the federation and the coaches to the standards and demand of what the game is asking for today,” Plummer told Barbados TODAY.
Barbados Football Association president, Randy Harris, said he also shared the same view as Plummer but added that the number of participants in football has been growing but the number of people interested in goalkeeping had been dwindling.
“At grassroots level it is a little about identifying talent and more about getting youngsters both male and female interested in the game and really trying to replicate a number of good attitudes towards the game. At that young age there are youngsters showing a bit of negative attitude in terms of their body language when spoken to and those are the things that we have to be looking at.
“Football is a team game and if you are going to let issues and the way different coaches handle certain issues affect you it is going to affect the standard of the game. We have to be dealing with these things from a young age and trying to get these youngsters to understand if they want to play football at a high level they are certain attitudes that they would have to let go,” said Harris, whose administration has completed five D licence courses for the year along with a C licence initiatives, four grassroots courses, two female administrative courses and two goalkeeping courses with one other course to follow and that being a match commissioner course.