Goalkeeper Focus Sessions with Jordan Kelly

In recent years, the Guernsey FA Academy has been lucky enough to have had the services of young and talented goalkeeper Jordan Kelly overseeing their development. Now a leading senior goalkeeper in the island footballing scene, Jordan has dedicated just as much time and energy into giving back through his goalkeeper Focus Sessions, as he has in his own playing development.

Like the outfield player focus group, Jordan is keen to help develop the fundamental techniques of goalkeeping. Here he explains the layout of his sessions...

"Each week will have a focus topic based around the different areas of goalkeeping. Ranging from basic handling, to hand eye co-ordination, diving and positioning. Each age group is coached based upon what is required for them as goalies at that age, both in and out of possession." 

Jordan goes on to stress how important it is to have this close attention time with goalkeepers, who can often get overlooked in the larger team environment.

"It is important to have these sessions to learn the role of goalkeeping and the most effective techniques in varying situations. This can be adapted and moulded for each goalkeeper, depending on their current level of ability. These skills can then be taken into the main sessions. This focused attention helps to improve each player in all aspects of goalkeeping, not just shot stopping.

We look to give our goalkeepers an advantage and an array of saving styles, based on some of the world leaders and player role models. Examples of these include David de Gea, world reknown for his ability to use foot saves, which is a relatively new technique, being implemented and developed all the time. And also being an 11th player such a Ederson, which is an essential part of the modern game with keepers now sweeping up behind the backline and distributing inch perfect passes to all areas of the field with both feet."

With Jordan's goalkeeper sessions often aligning with Ross Allen's outfield player Focus Sessions, the two groups are sometimes able to combine in an effective, win-win symbiotic relationship. 

"We have opportunities where we work with Ross and the outfield group to create scenarios where the skills learnt can be put into practise . Without players to attack and shoot against us , we don't quite get that game realistic experience, so being able to work with them for even 10-15 minutes at the end of a session is vital."

Jordan has already had some fantastic experiences in football, and it's clear that these have attributed to his current desire to continue playing at the highest level he can, and helping to improving the standard of Guernsey goalkeeping.

"Growing up I was limited to mostly self coaching which lead to various goalkeeping camps off island where I learned a great amount. With this came further off island opportunities, where I trained and played at clubs such as Southampton, Truro City and Plymouth Argyle, and more recently AFC Bournemouth. My education of the game greatly benefited from these experiences, as well as having my pop teach me when I was younger. He played for Luton and also the England school boy team, so he taught me a lot."

Despite the Focus format being a fairly new concept, Jordan is already impressed by the development he's seeing. 

"Since introducing these smaller group sessions there has been a huge amount of improvement in every goalkeeper. This not only helps to make each individual player better, but it enhances the overall strength of the academy and provides those teams with more talent to choose from and use in game environments. The work ethic of the goalies and their desire to improve is evident. If they put the work in now, and continue their current rate of progress, then they can hopefully follow in the footsteps of previous players who have gone off island, or continue to represent Guernsey right through to senior level."