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Hard work pays off
Around the Academy:

Peter Schmeichel
Schmeichel demonstrates how to catch the ball safely


Alex Stepney


I think it's best to catch, rather than punch the ball. If you can get two fists to the ball, why not catch it?

Although today's ball swerves so much, I believe that if you work hard enough in training then you should still be able to catch it.

And the defining moment of my playing days was, in fact, a catch whilst playing for Man United.

I'll never forget the save I made to prevent Eusebio scoring in the 1968 European Cup final at Wembley.

With the score at 1-1 in the last few moments of normal time, I was caught slightly out of position.

For a moment I thought that I might get chipped.

Legendary Portuguese striker Eusebio
Eusebio was foiled by Stepney
But knowing Eusebio, I guessed that he would try and burst the back of the net.

So I made up my mind to try and catch it and I did what all keepers should - I stood up and kept my eye on the ball.

And when he struck it, I caught it.

When that pays off you get your just reward for all the hard work and training you put in.

The game went into extra-time and we eventually won 4-1.

Sometimes the goalkeeper, who is often less in the spotlight than his team-mates, can become the hero.

And when that happens, it's a great feeling.






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