KeeperKlub in Kilworth will be first of its kind in country

Kilworth Celtic FC will be officially opening the new state-of-the-art Sheila Flynn Park on Saturday, October 8, with a family fun day in full swing from 12:30pm.
KeeperKlub in Kilworth will be first of its kind in country

The main event of the day is a match between the Kilworth Celtic FC Seniors vs Defence Forces Football Team, featuring capped Internationals, at 2pm. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A North Cork soccer club is launching a new national goalkeeper training programme this weekend, as well as officially opening a brand-new community clubhouse and facility.

Kilworth Celtic FC will be officially opening the new state-of-the-art Sheila Flynn Park on Saturday, October 8, with a family fun day in full swing from 12:30pm.

The main event of the day is a match between the Kilworth Celtic FC Seniors vs Defence Forces Football Team, featuring capped Internationals, at 2pm.

Special guests include everyone from FAI and EUFA coaches to facepainters, the Defence Forces army band and an army tank, and the schedule for the day features a kids blitz, and crossbar and penalty challenges where youngsters can take a shot on Cobh Ramblers keeper Sean Barron.

Saturday will also feature the launch of the KeeperKlub, a new national training programme for underage goalkeepers, the first of its kind in the country.

The programme will feature mentoring, training camps and instructional videos for aspiring keepers all over the country. It includes key elements like 'Keeper Wars', a competitive league where keepers pit their skills against their contemporaries in different clubs across various age ranges. Suitable for both boys and girls, it strives to build a foundation of essential goalkeeping skills and techniques.

KeeperKlub will also be an invaluable tool for coaches, helping them with session planning and building KPIs to help track the student keeper's progression, and specialist drills to help give their keepers an advantage over the opposition.

Ex-Cobh Ramblers keeper and coach Andy O'Donoghue is the driving force behind the KeeperKlub, and says it is a “great opportunity to provide the framework to help train the next generation of keepers”, adding that there has been a lack of good quality keeper training in Ireland over the years.

“Goalkeeping is a fine art and is often neglected at amateur level, albeit not deliberately. Every club we speak to has the same issue when attempting to recruit inhouse goalkeeper coaches. Unless you have someone in the club that has played as a goalkeeper in the past, it is very hard to get a volunteer to take on the role of a goalkeeper coach,” he said.

“You get the same excuse everywhere you go, ‘I wouldn’t know what to do with the keepers’. What we are trying to do at the KeeperKlub is provide clubs with the platform to enable them to bridge this gap and help coach the coaches. Our session builder will enable coaches build a top class goalkeeping session in seconds with the click of a button,” he added.

The programme will be rolled out in North Cork at Kilworth Celtic FC as part of their Open Day on 8 October.

For more information about Keeper Klub, please email thekeeperklub@gmail.com.

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