With English football some what obsessed with 6’2” plus goalkeepers its been a real breath of fresh air to see so many 6’1” and under keepers at the world cup.
And there not just there to make up the numbers, some of the best performers have been Mexico’s Ochoa, Chile’s Bravo and Costa Rica’s Navas.
All these guys measuring in at between 5’11” and 6’1”.
With Claudio Bravo taking over at Barcelona next season why are we overlooking goalkeepers as they reach there later teens because they are not taller enough?
The English game at the highest level appears to be like a fair ground ride, if your not 6’2” ‘no ride on the roller coaster’!
There are obvious reasons why clubs want bigger keepers, this is understandable. They want a presence in the goal, outfield players are taller in the modern game so keepers have to look to be imposing? Taller keepers have greater reach and so called dominance with crosses (not always the case)
As a keeper myself, at school I played a lot of basketball this increased my vertical jump and at 5’11” I could rebound higher and get up higher than some bigger guys.
I believe we need to start coaching in ways to increase the vertical jump of these so called smaller keepers through plyometrics, lower body fitness workouts and learn from other sports to educate ourselves as coaches and goalkeepers coming through our grassroots game.
Decision making, timing of the jump and communication are so important when coming for high balls and all these areas can be coached to develop our young keepers.
How many more promising young keepers are we going to tell ‘sorry son your to small’.
This rejection in some cases has a negative outcome and the keepers in question either lose interest in goalkeeping or filter out of the game completely.
We seem obsessed with trying to emulate a continental style of play for our outfield players but disregard there blue print for goalkeepers.
As with the development of the English game at grass roots level as a whole, we need better educated coaches not only for our players technical development but to change the mind set and ideas in place to bring positive results.
And a willingness to learn with an open mind is needed to bring those positive results.