Goalkeeping coach bidding to find “the next Neville Southall”
4:02pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in Penarth news
A PENARTH goalkeeping coach is bidding to find “the next Neville Southall” after setting up his own coaching business.
Aled Williams, who has spent the last four years coaching for the New York Red Bulls in America, has recently returned to his hometown to gain further coaching qualifications and set up his own goalkeeping coaching course.
Aled, who already holds a UEFA C licence in goalkeeping and outfield, is working towards his UEFA B licence in goalkeeping before he can embark on earning a UEFA Pro Licence. He already holds qualifications that he gained during his time in America, but is hoping that if he gains the British equivalent he could one day become the head goalkeeping coach of an academy.
Former St Cyres pupil Aled was head of goalkeeping for the regional development schools, goalkeeper coach for the academy and the goalkeeper coach for the U23 squad for the New York Red Bulls for the last four years. He said his highlights included coaching Santiago Castano before he signed a professional contract, producing eight goalkeepers who successfully went on to sign full time for New York Red Bulls Academy and producing three goalkeepers who have represented the US National squads.
Aled, of Countess Place, added that he wanted to use the experience he had gained from working in America to discover ‘the next Neville Southall’ so that Wales could have as much strength in depth in the goalkeeping position as the like of Spain and Belgium.
“The idea of it is to provide supplementary training for goalkeepers over all ages and abilities,” he said.
“I have worked with players as young as six years old up to men’s ages.”
He added that in most teams the goalkeeping position was often neglected during training and that his training curriculum, that he has built up over the years, would specifically target the three main parts of goalkeeping.
Aled, who has called his venture AW1 Goalkeeping, said that the three main areas of his coaching philosophy were goal defence, offensive strengths and distribution.
He added that his ultimate aim was to find a goalkeeper to play professionally and to be recognised as a contributor to it.
“Wales hasn’t had a successful goalkeeper since Neville Southall and why is that the case? Are they not getting enough specific training? Are they not training the right way?” he said.
“We don’t really have anyone standing out as a world class goalkeeper. It is the last line of defence and the first line of attack."
He added: “If you look at the likes of Spain, with Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes and Belgium, with Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet, they have got world class goalkeepers on the bench.
“One of the reasons why I came home was that I have got a passion for Welsh football and Cardiff City, and I want us to be on a higher step up with the other countries.”
Lifelong Cardiff City fan Aled added that he was enjoying seeing Cardiff City in the Premier League.
“It’s fantastic and I have been down a few times to see them already.
“It’s something I never thought I would see. I remember going to see them when we had an average of 1,000 supporters and it was £2 to get in as a junior Bluebird.”