As part its football development strategic plan 2019 – 2022, the Oceania Football Confederation is conducting a three-day Goalkeeping Instructor Course at the OFC Academy in Auckland between 26 and 28 November.

Led by OFC Goalkeeper Development Consultant James Bannatyne, the aim of the course is to arm the ten participating coaching instructors with the necessary tool that will help them to educate goalkeeping coaches back in their own member associations.

The OFC Goalkeeper Development Consultant believes there is plenty of room for improvement in the area of goalkeeping in Oceania and he is thrilled to provide the participants with both practical and theoretical knowledge that will help them when they return home.

“Exciting times to educate the coaching educators as we want to ensure they can go back to and coach the goalkeeping coaches,” Bannatyne said.

“This is a big part in helping the MA representatives to go back with a toolkit that they can use to educate goalkeeping coaches in their own environment.

“Without the ten goalkeeping instructors who we have here it’s very difficult to achieve our objectives.

“I personally can’t go out to every member association every week, so we need our people to do our work on the ground and impact their member associations the best way possible,” he added.

Despite a renewed focus on goalkeeping development in our region Bannatyne insists this is just the first step on the road towards OFC’s extensive strategic vision for the future.

“This is really the start of a big project for goalkeeping as we are working towards OFC’s Football Development Strategy with 2026 in mind and the 1.5 World Cup places available for Oceania football.

“If we want to do well than our goalkeepers need to do well and we need to be committed to our member associations and support them to develop goalkeeping which involves things in our strategic plan like Goalkeeping Development Officers, goalkeeping schools, as well as ensuring regular support to for people in those roles,” he said.

Vanuatu Goalkeeping Instructor Kem Esiko is confident the course will help him to make a positive contribution when he returns home.

“The workshop helps me a lot,” he enthused.

“I just started my career as a goalkeeping coach and last time when James was over in Vanuatu I did enjoy being part of the coaching course and I’m really happy to be part of the instructor course here. “I’ve learnt a lot, it motivates me to get where I should be, to see where I should be.

“Working in groups really pushes me hard to communicate and motivates me to be part of the team and express myself how to be a coach,” Esiko explained.

“Back in Vanuatu we have good goalkeepers but the problem is there is no coaching and we need to develop more young goalkeepers for the future.  “We are not looking at the present but the future, he added.

The only female participant, Lice Waqailiti from Fiji, has also hailed the positive impact of the course.

“So far it’s been good and challenging to me as a female working with males is not easy, but I could see that I’ve been outspoken during the course and on top of that I could see that the instructor was really impressed with how I performed on an off the field,” she said.

Praising the calibre of the participants, Bannatyne is confident about the future of goalkeeping development in Oceania.

“It’s been a lot of work but I’ve been really impressed, to be honest proud of their work, we still have a lot of work to do but we made a start and that’s the main thing. I’m proud of the participants and their quality of work and their commitment to what we try to achieve, he said.

“They are working together very well. Goalkeeping is often an isolated position, so it’s about bringing those people together with a common goal of improving goalkeeping in the Oceania region,” added the OFC Goalkeeper Development Consultant.