Andy King is a goalkeeping coach and runs find-us-keepers goalkeeping school (http://www.find-us-keepers.co.uk/home). He has played for two seasons in the Norwich Academy and for a few other clubs as well but sustained a bad injury when he was 16. During his time out he started doing coaching and now Andy is Level 3 coach and working towards his Level 3 goalkeeping badge.
How did you get into football as a youngster?
I started playing with my mates at primary school. I wanted to play outfield but I was the little fat kid that no one wanted outfield and they stuck me in goal. I then realised I was pretty decent at it and carried on playing in goal.
Did you have a footballing idol growing up?
When I started playing in goal it was Peter Schmeichel because everyone said I looked like him and he played for Man United which is the team I support, he just happened to be in the best team I guess!
Who was the most influential person in your playing career?
Probably my dad because he took me everywhere rain or shine, bought me everything I needed. I think from age 8 to when I finished playing at 19 he only missed three games so he’s definitely the most influential.
How did it feel to get selected by Norwich when you were 12?
It felt pretty special. It felt nice wearing a Norwich City badge when you went out and played. It was completely different to being with a local team and it was great to go to all these different training grounds and see all these different professional players. I got a lot of autographs from my days with Norwich.
When you started coaching, how long did it take before you realised you wanted to take it further and get some of your coaching badges?
I started coaching when I was 16 because I had an injury that kept me out for three months. I actually started coaching a local team in Sutton and I realised I enjoyed watching people enjoy themselves. I did my Level 1 and 2 coaching badges and then set up find-us-keepers goalkeeping school when I was 18.
Who’s the most successful goalie you’ve trained?
I’ve had quite a few! I trained one lad called Luke Emson and he is probably the most talented goalkeeper I’ve had. He was at Norwich and had a trial at Ipswich Town first team but sadly got injured. I’ve trained a girl called Beth Davies who’s currently playing for Leeds United Ladies and she’s played for Wales. Another girl called Beth Ivens, she doesn’t play anymore but she used to play for England Colleges.
As goalkeeper is the hardest and most mentally challenging position in football, how do you teach your keepers to deal with pressure?
You remind them that goalkeeper is the hardest position on the pitch. You’re going to make mistakes, you’re only human and if it happens you have to keep working hard.
Who in your opinion is the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment?
I would say it’s probably a tie between David De Gea of Man United and Joe Hart.
What do you think of the goalkeeping situation at Man City where Joe Hart has been shipped out on loan because he’s not good enough with his feet?
I think Pep Guardiola has made a really big mistake letting him go and just basing his decision on how good his goalkeeper is by how well he can play out from the back. The goalkeeper he’s brought in (Claudio Bravo) can’t use his hands!
Who’s the most famous goalie you’ve met?
I’ve met a number of high-profile keepers and they all seem to be the biggest men around, they’re scarily big!
What attributes do you look for in a young keeper?
Commitment. I would rather have someone who’s willing to put the effort in and be there every week than somebody who’s really skill full but can’t be bothered. I was like that, I had to work really hard to become a better keeper.
And finally, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring keeper?
Play somewhere you enjoy. You could be the next Joe Hart but if you’d rather play down the park with your mates then do that. Don’t just force yourself just because your good.
A big thanks to Andy for taking the time to do the interview. Go to http://www.find-us-keepers.co.uk/home to find out more about Andy’s goalkeeping school and follow find-us-keepers on Twitter (http://www.find-us-keepers.co.uk/links/39-find-us-keepers/13-find-us-keepers-twitter) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/finduskeepers) as well.