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Welsh star's goalkeeping guide
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Wales goalkeeper Ria Male
Make sure nothing gets past you

Wales goalkeeper Ria Male

Hi, my name's Ria Male and I play in goal for Wales.

If, like me, you're a goalkeeper that makes you one of the most important members of the team.

You're probably the bravest player in the side too!

The opposition could launch an attack at any time so you should always be ready to spring into action.

Here's my guide to keeping the ball out of the net...

Ready position

Keep your legs shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent.

Your body weight should be forward. Keep your eyes over your toes.

Hold your stick in your right hand. Your left hand should be open with the palm facing outwards.


There are lots of different tactics you can use to stop the ball from going into the net.

Here are just three of them:

  • Block save

    This is made with the feet and legs together so your pads create a barrier.

    This is a handy save to use when the ball is fired towards you low and hard.

    It's also great for when the ball is bouncing towards you.

    Remember to watch out for any follow-up shots from the rebound.

  • Kick

    You're the only person in the team allowed to use their feet to hit the ball - so make the most of it.

    You've got to stop the ball getting in the back of the net
    These boots were made for walking...

    Keep a balanced and relaxed ready position. Watch the ball and move into position.

    Step left or right with the instep (inside edge of your foot) turned out.

    Put your weight on the front foot and keep your head over the ball.

    Block the ball with your foot and angle the ball out wide.

  • Glove and stick save

    This is useful when the ball is aimed above leg height.

    A top tip when using this tactic is to see the stick as an extension of your hands.

    The stick and the gloved hand should be used together.

    Block the ball, don't swing at it.

    Quick off the mark

    Goalkeepers have got to keep their concentration
    You've got to be alert

    When you play in goal, you have to rely a lot on your reactions and reflexes.

    It's also important you keep your concentration throughout the match.

    Sometimes there will be matches when the ball will be down the other end for long periods of play.

    But if you're caught napping, your team will pay the price. So no day-dreaming ok!

    Remember never to panic! Hold your nerve.

    Now nothing will get past you!

    Have fun out there and good luck!

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  • Ria's facts
    Date of birth: 23.4.82
    Place of Birth: Aberdare
    Club team: UWIC

    STAR TIP::
    Ria Male

    A good way to practice saves is by using tennis balls

    :: Welsh Hockey website

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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