Indian Football: Goalkeepers get together for a keeper-exclusive coaching camp in Pune
A trio of footballers, goalkeepers rather, has come together to start a one-week goalkeeping coaching clinic in Pune, in what the organisers claim is the first coaching camp for goalkeepers in Maharashtra.
Eighteen budding goalkeepers have registered for the camp, which will be held from May 11-18 at the Lion Sports Hub (Pimpale Nilakh) in Pune. One of the participants includes Deepa Ram, a goalkeeper from Bengaluru, the organisers added.
Trainees at the camp will undergo goalkeeping-specific drills under Mihir Sawant, a former goalkeeping and assistant coach of Jamshedpur FC Reserves, ex-Pune City goalkeeping coach Ketan Sarode and Shreedevi Bhandari, UKM Kothrud 'keeper and the Physical Education Teacher with Orbis School in Pune.
"I am a goalkeeper myself and there are not many camps and next to no goalkeeping academies in India," says Sawant, who has worked with the likes of Minerva Punjab, Sudeva Academy, Hindustan FC and Fateh Hyderabad. "For the same, I planned on conducting a camp exclusively for goalkeepers.
"What I've seen largely in the country is that the goalkeepers are left alone and made to learn by themselves. I want specific training to be given to them and in this regard, I am also planning to open an academy for goalkeepers in the next few months. This has been my dream project for the last two years."
Sawant claimed a goalkeeper in India doesn't get the required training and competitive experience when he's coming up and the camp is aimed at providing more exposure to goalkeepers to techniques of modern day football.
"In modern football, goalkeepers who are comfortable with their feet are preferred as they can be utilised as the 11th (outfield) player," Sawant said. "When the team is attacking, they are part of the move and when the team is defending an opposition threat, they return to the role of a goalkeeper.
"A goalkeeper matures at the age of 23-24. Till that time, he needs to get trained and prepare himself to play at the highest level. You need a minimum of 10,000 hours of rigorous training to become a professional football player or a Goalkeeper and this camp is a first in helping a 'keeper be ready for top-flight football."
Sawant added that the group is in talks with Gadhinglaj (Kolhapur district) to set up another camp for goalkeepers.