This is a picture of me and Jarmo Matikainen who is the coach for Wales U17, U19 and 1st team. This photograph was taken at the Wales preparation camp this year.
Over the past twenty plus as a professional goalkeeper I have brushed shoulders with some of the best soccer players and coaches that have been involved in soccer and I have also set up the first community goalkeeping schools for Manchester United Football club, so it is safe to say that I know my coaches!
But I can justly say that Jarmo is one of the finest coaches that in my long career involved in professional soccer.
His scientific method to evolving soccer players is second to none and his appetite to help his team is very unique.
What is exceptional about Jarmo he is willing to pay attention to his goalkeeping coaches. If most keeper coaches are honest they will tell you that their coach not listen to them as most coaches still do not see GK coaches as an significant part of the coaching team.
Thankfully there are some coaches like Jarma who do realise that goalie coaches are a asset to a team because we have a different idea on how a team performs because of our position in goal as we see the soccer game from a different prospective.
I was a bit hesitant to be the keeper coach for the wales squad because if I feel like my experiences are not being used or a coach tries to speak down to me, I will stand my ground and say what I feel. Again if most keeper Coaches are honest, they will explain that their coach does talk down to them, so it was uplifting that Jarmo spoke to all his coaching staff and myself as the goalkeeping coach with the highest respect.
Jarmo speak worldwide about the progress of soccer players and in particular the development of women players. He is one of the most respected womens coaches in Europe and I strongly recommend any soccer establishment developing women’s soccer to listen to what Jarmo has to say, you will not be disappointed!