Goalkeeper training in Somerset

James Cope


Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Weston-Super-Mare, Bedminster, Portishead

James started playing in goal at just 7 years old joined his local club, Portishead Juniors. When he was just 10 years old James was invited to a trial at Bristol City and within a week he found himself competing in a tournament involving the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Fulham, and many more of the country’s elite teams at the England training ground – Bisham Abbey. James then enjoyed an eight year spell with Bristol City Football Club Academy and then was offered a two year scholarship with Bristol City young Professionals.

James then worked with some of the leading professional goalkeeper coaches in the country. To name but a few, former West Bromwich Albion stopper and current first team Bristol City goalkeeper coach Stuart Naylor, along with highly regarded former professionals Len Bond and Billy Mercer. At the end of his two year apprenticeship James was told by the club that he ‘wasn’t tall enough for the modern game’ and was released. Despite the bad news James knew that the eight years spent at City had been a truly a great experience and one that would never be forgotten.

So James decided to then focus on his coaching ability, using his vast knowledge of drills and exercises learned whilst being coached at City. He went on to achieve his FA Level 2 Certificate and the FA’s Age Appropriate Certificate at the age of just 19. James coaches at a number of schools in the Bristol and North Somerset area and retains a strong connection with Bristol City as a coach for their youth development squad, and their Junior Academy.

James has always had a passion for goalkeeping and believes every young keeper deserves the high standard of coaching he was fortunate enough to get whilst at a pro club. James strongly believes that goalkeeper specific coaching is paramount in turning a promising ‘kick about in the park shot-stopper’ into a highly proven and respected goalkeeper.