Botswana: Goalkeepers Integral Part of Football

Gaborone — Goalkeepers are significant to football because they are the last line of defence with potential to determine fate of their teams.

However, Botswana has been hard hit by lack of astute goalkeepers, owing to shortage of goalkeepers' trainers, hence Botswana Football Association's (BFA) decision to train goalkeeper coaches

In his 2016 dissertation titled: Consideration of Goalkeeper Education in Various Countries, Charles Sciberras stated that traditionally, managers and head coaches would recruit former goalkeepers as goalkeeper coaches. He said most of these ex-goalkeepers did possess the technical knowledge and awareness of the goalkeeper's necessities, but lacked general coaching skills.

Today, he said, the specialised goalkeeper coach was responsible for training and coaching of the goalkeepers, under the direction of the managers and coaches in cooperation with the other coaching staff.

Sciberras further argued that the goalkeeper coach should focus on improving the goalkeepers' performance in various team functions. Moreover, s/he should observe and guide the goalkeepers during training with the whole team.

Now that goalkeeping has evolved and gone were the days that goalkeepers were trained by inexperienced personnel.

BFA found it prudent to drill 25 goalkeeper instructors, who upon successfully passing the course, will drill goalkeeper coaches.

It has engaged former Bafana Bafana and FIFA goalkeeper coach instructor, Argentinian born Alejandro Heredia to drill the goalkeeper instructors to be in advanced goalkeeper trainers course. BFA technical director, Serame Letsoaka, said for many years, Botswana had been training other personnel, adding that the time had come to put more emphasis on the goalkeeping department.

He said the training of goalkeeper trainers should have multiplier effects, as they would be tasked to train goalkeeper coaches.Furthermore, Letsoaka said BFA's desire was to open another department that would only focus on goalkeeping, given that goalkeeping was a specialised position.

Joseph Maposa, who is one of the course participants, said in an interview that the advanced course would benefit them, because they had been experiencing shortage of goalkeeper coaches in the country, adding that they would be able to impart the knowledge acquired to other coaches.

Modiri Marumo said most of the time, goalkeepers were not given the necessary attention, revealing that after finishing the course, expectations were that they would train both goalkeepers and their coaches.

Thabo Motang said goalkeeping was the main department in a team, given that no team can play without a goalkeeper.

He said the time had come to give the department the attention it deserved, adding that the country naturally had a lot of talented players, who could perform very well in the post.

He said the course would help them to unearth raw talent, from grassroots, which would in return benefit the country.

Source : BOPA

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