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Singapore Shares Approach to Goalkeeper Development at AFC Conference

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Date: 
Tue, 10 Oct 2017

Singapore Shares Approach to Goalkeeper Development at AFC Conference

It has been less than two years since the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) established a new approach towards goalkeeper development but in September 2017, an endorsement of the system came by way of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) inviting Singapore to give a presentation at the AFC Goalkeeping Coaching Tutors’ course.

With every Member Association (MA) in the AFC sending a representative, the four-day course was attended by 55 goalkeeper coaches and tutors. The course was led by UEFA Technical Advisor Patrick Joseph Bonner and included presentations by AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh and AFC Head of Coach Education Wim Koevermans.

It covered a variety of topics from identifying the modern trends of goalkeeping to latest practices and principles. Additionally, the course served as a platform for coaches and instructors to network and exchange ideas on goalkeeping training.

FAS coach and instructor Frederic De Boever was the only guest speaker invited to give a presentation at the conference. Recognising that FAS had recently instituted a new approach to goalkeeper development, the AFC Technical Department invited Frederic to share his know-how at the conference.

Singapore’s vision for goalkeeper development is to nurture goalkeepers who are not only able to deal with goal attempts but are also equipped with offensive skills, and can proactively defend the zone in front of goal. Through a detailed presentation, Frederic illustrated what has been done to put in place the new goalkeeper coaching system in Singapore to achieve the vision.

Perhaps the most visible aspect of the new goalkeeper formation process is the Goalkeeper Academy Singapore. Launched in 2016, the Academy is led by Frederic and seeks to instil the skills required for modern goalkeepers in players from as young as seven. From 20 goalkeepers at the start of 2016, the Academy has grown to a sizeable number today of 115 young goalkeepers who undergo weekly specialised training that is tailored for their age-group.

Other changes – such as a revamped scouting process for goalkeepers that is in line with the vision, as well as a new goalkeeper selection process for the youth National Teams – were also instituted.

On being invited to present, Frederic said: “It is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of all the people who are a part of the goalkeeper department in FAS. Our perseverance and the correct mindset made it possible for the Goalkeeper Academy to have the correct values and a modern philosophy. It is a positive sign that the AFC Technical Department values this set-up.”

AFC Regional Instructor Rameshpal Singh, who also attended the course, added: “Frederic’s presentation received a positive response from all at the course. It is good to see that goalkeeping in Singapore is heading in the right direction, in line with AFC’s objectives.”

With the game constantly evolving, coaches and tutors present at the course agreed that the philosophy, vision and methodology of goalkeeping has to change in order to ensure that goalkeepers are able to adapt to the modern style of play.

Frederic concluded: “AFC acknowledged that a lot of work is required in goalkeeping education in Asia in order to catch up with the modern way of football, and a number of MAs shared that they would also like to set up something similar in their country. The Australian and Japanese representatives also shared our vision of proactive goalkeeping. The fact that big footballing countries are in agreement with our vision suggests, to me, that we are heading in the right direction in the education of the modern goalkeeper.” 

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