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OFC Goalkeeping course puts stress on basics

Bannatyne and FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua opened the course on Labor Day (Sept. 3) on behalf of President Iuli Alex Godinet.
FFAS Goalkeeper Instructor Uinifareti Aliva is assisting Bannatyne during the four-day course.
“Goalkeepers are often ignored and growing up as a goalkeeper during practice we were usually left to our own devices,” explained Bannatyne. “For me the position is not looked after as we’d like and our job is to do that this week.”
He went on to say that learning the basics of goalkeeper are keys to becoming a top-notch goalie.
“They just have to understand and work on the basics in order to become a quality goalkeeper,” Bannatyne said.
Taumua pointed out to the 22 participants that for the last five years a lot of the courses held were for coaches and referees.
“Now we are very thankful to FIFA and OFC for bringing a goalkeeper course to us because it is one of the most important positions out on the field and I hope you learn a lot from James.”
Iuli sent his apologies for his unavailability to open the course but had expressed his appreciation of it when he first heard of it being offered to FFAS.
“This course is going to help us in a lot of ways,” Iuli said, “because it will not only make our club’s goalies better but give us a better pool of goalkeepers to choose from for our national teams.”
In Bannatyne’s practical sessions the participants, including a few that have appeared in American Samoa’s youth national teams at recent international tournaments, were introduced to the proper techniques of catching the ball and making a dive for a save.
“It’s all about using the proper technique to dive to make a stop,” said Satila Tupua, goalie for the U-23 men’s team during the 2012 OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in Taupo, New Zealand. “You can’t just dive after the ball but use the proper technique. The right way is good footwork before diving after the ball.”
A lot of the participants were sore after the practical sessions as they familiarized themselves with the ball and ground through different drills.
“My body is hurting from all those practical sessions,” said Suani Uelese, current goalie for Division 2 cup holders Taputimu Youth and also backup for the 2011 OFC U-20 Championship in New Zealand. “But I have learned a lot from it and will use this information to help train our team’s backup goalkeeper.”
The course closed on Sept. 6 with Bannatyne flying back home to New Zealand.

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