Eighteen goalkeeping coaches have passed a three-day OFC Goalkeeper Coaching Certificate Course, held at Fiji FA Academy in Suva last weekend.

Course instructor and Fiji FA national team goalkeeper coach Robert Mimms said the main objective of the course was to provide learners with the capabilities to design and deliver effective goalkeeping practices.

“This course aims to help coaches support their goalkeepers with basic technical and tactical techniques, provide a greater understanding of the goalkeeping positions, and help coaches understand the challenges of growth and maturation for goalkeepers.” said Mimms.

“It also provides participants with the practical experience of effectively incorporating goalkeepers in practices with coach development support.”

Mimms, who played for two decades in England’s top flight including a Premier League title winning season with Blackburn Rovers, believes Fiji has a lot of potential goalkeepers.

“I have seen a lot of potential goalkeepers here only we need proper coaching and guidance for them,” said Mimms.

“With this bunch of goalkeeper coaches, I am sure we will move forward as they will be putting their knowledge back to their districts and also to the grassroots.”

Digicel national men’s team goalkeeper Akuila Mataisuva and former Ba and Suva goalkeeper Senaila Waqanicakau were also part of the course. Six female coaches, which included Matelita Vuakoso of Labasa Women and Laisa Vuikaba of Suva, took part. Fiji FA Technical Director Timo Jankowski thanked OFC and its Head of Goalkeeping James Bannatyne, who helped set up the course:

“Goalkeeping is the most complex position in the modern game and we are happy to have a man of the calibre of Robert Mimms, a former Premier League player and goalkeeper coach here with us in Fiji. The big goal is to spread Robert’s knowledge around Fiji that stays with the Fijian people. The second big aim is to inspire young girls and boys to become a goalkeeper, and the combination of a OFC Goalkeeper Certificate course together with a Goalkeeper Festival where the participants get directly involved on the following day of their course to share their gained knowledge with the young kids is a very cool and inspiring way.

“We want to identify the best candidates in our system that can evolve into the OFC C-Licence next year in April where we hope to have James and Robert together running this course here in Fiji!”

Mimms says the future for goalkeeping in Fiji is bright:

“Our aim is to develop goalkeepers for the future.”