Keeper Coaching for girls and boys now available at all venues
Some few years ago now I had the pleasure of welcoming a young lady into one of the Reactions GKC schools. Her name was Harriet and initially she was a bit of a quandary to me. On one hand she was as brave as a lion and completely un-phased by coaching with all boys, but on the other she could sometimes be a little less co-ordinated than hoped for, occasionally catching fresh air and missing kicks. However what Harriet had in spades was enthusiasm and desire. Her head rarely went down and she never complained even when balls smashed her in the face or other students clashed and crunched her into posts (accidentally of course) Harriet would just get up, brush herself off and carry on. Sometimes through glazed eyes but never with a word of complaint. Slowly but surely Harriet’s skills developed and she soon became very competent and was the one to beat in GK wars !
Well let me tell you about Harriet’s progression of late…
Harriet started playing at the age of 11 after never having kicked a ball in her life, one day she said to her father Martyn, “I want to be a goal keeper” So Martyn found her a team and started looking for some keeper coaching. (That’s where Reactions GKC and I came into the story) Martyn told me she was dedicated and was training hard most nights. This consisted of specific GK training with me at Reactions and her team training. She had a passion to learn more to make herself a better player for her teammates.
Harriet then went on to play within both the girls and boys grassroots football leagues in Stoke-on Trent and for her High School, she rapidly gained a good reputation for herself.
After a couple of years her schedule was that hectic that coming to us at Reactions wasn’t always physically possible so it was with sadness we at Reactions bade her farewell as her journey moved on with various offers from high level teams coming in.
Her performances were widely recognised and she was rewarded by being asked to sign her first contract with Stoke City Academy at the age of 13. H had already represented the County virtually since she started playing football and this was to continue all the way through to U16 which showed how her improvement and commitment to improving week in week out had stood her in good stead against the other more experienced girl keepers.
Harriet then signed with Stoke City Women and at the age of 15 was one of 6 keepers on the books. It was decided that she would gain more experience by going out on loan to Sandbach United Women’s team as the first team keeper. At 15 she was half the age of most of the other players but had no problems marshalling her defence. Growing in confidence each game she was then given an opportunity to play for Stoke City Reserves.
H then joined the Andy Griffin Football Academy at Newcastle College and soon became the number 1 keeper for the second year team. Her performances as a first year student in a second year team got her recognition, and she was recommended for England College Trials. Over 400 girls trailed throughout the country, but after two successful trial events Harriet was delighted to find out that she had made the England College Squad.
This is a wonderful achievement and goes to show that if you have enthusiasm, desire and a keenness to learn, train hard and are focused you can do anything. Although Reactions GKC and myself can’t claim to have had the defining influence we are extremely proud to have helped her along the way in those formative years.
WELL DONE H Keep going… Brave as a…
LION-ESS ??? Maybe one day… Who Knows? It’s a long journey but I wouldn’t rule it out.