Goalkeepers' role has changed dramatically

February 22, 2019

Declan O'Keeffe in action for Kerry in 2003.
©INPHO/Patrick Bolger.

Former Kerry goalkeeper Declan O’Keeffe is in no doubt that the role of a team’s number one has changed a lot since his days between the posts.

O’Keeffe won two All-Ireland SFC titles during his inter-county career with Kerry in the late nineties and early 2000s.

Currently the Clare senior football goalkeeping coach, O’Keeffe pointed out that there has been huge changes to the role of a goalkeeper.

“I was at a coaching conference in Kildysart last weekend and I was reflecting on just how much it has changed since my time,” said O’Keeffe.

“Back then it was just kick the ball as far as you could up the field but now the goalkeeper has to be much more of a footballer. He has to be able to find his man with kick-outs or find certain zones and it’s very intriguing to be working with three or four goalkeepers on that and you get to work with outfield players too.

“The game has changed totally in that regard and the goalkeeper has become one of the most important players on the field. Stephen Cluxton gets a lot of the credit for that really, in terms of changing the game over the last few years.

“Now we are learning from other codes in terms of developing set plays and the kick-out is really a restart in terms of the game. There’s a lot of analysis done on that and we are no different to any other team. We would like to go after the opposition and I am sure the opposition would like to go after us. It’s a work in progress, which will go on throughout the year.”

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