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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 18:45 GMT
Clemence's goalkeeping tips

Ray Clemence and Paul Robinson
Clemence: Robinson is one of Premiership's best distributors

Former Liverpool, Spurs and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, is now a goalkeeping coach for England where he looks after the likes of Paul Robinson and Ben Foster.

He played at the highest level for over 20 years, representing England 61 times between the posts.

During a recent coaching session at a primary school in Hertfordshire, Clemence took some time out to pass on some of his tips.

Here he explains how even the basics of goalkeeping can haunt you if you do not practice them.


Basic handling is your foundation to goalkeeping.

If you don't have the techniques to catch the ball wherever it comes to you around your body, then you're going to concede goals, it's a simple as that.

The biggest tip I can offer is to make sure that you have a part of your body behind the ball as well as your hands, so you've got some sort of insurance.

As was proven to me in an international many years ago, when England played Scotland, I forgot to do that and the ball went through my hands, through my legs and we lost the game.

So if there's one thing I've ever remembered it's to get a part of your body behind your hands as well!

It's something that all coaches should work on with young goalkeepers.


Things are changing these days with the ball being much lighter and going quicker.

Whereas in my day we were taught to catch the ball wherever possible, these days we work on catching the ball and also on the balls which you can't catch to make sure you divert them away from the goal.

The best place to push the ball is right or left wide of the goal, behind the six-yard line.

That tends to be a position of safety where it is very difficult to score from a second attempt.


I work a lot with Paul Robinson on England duty but I have nothing to do with the way he kicks a ball - that's a certainty.

He developed that when he was at Leeds but he is one of the best distributors in the Premiership at the moment.

And it has become a more important part of goalkeeping. When I played we had the ball in your hands quite a lot.

A modern day goalkeeper probably has the ball at his feet more than he does in his hands over the course of a 90 minute game.

So it's important, even at a young age, that goalkeepers work with the ball at their feet so they are comfortable controlling the ball or striking it.

That's whether they are kicking it 20 yards like youngsters or up to 70 yards at the highest level.


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