Keepers rely on hands on tips from esteemed coach Irwin

Aspiring goalkeepers get a unique chance to hone their skills from expert tuition this weekend.

The West Bay Sports Foundation, in collaboration with the Academy Sports Club, is hosting Bill Irwin, Director of Soccer from the University of Portland this week.

Coach Irwin has a distinguished record as a goalkeeping specialist and has extensive experience with both the US national men’s and women’s programmes, assisting with the Under 20, Under 21, Under 23 and senior women’s teams, and the Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and senior men’s teams.

He trained the US goalkeepers in the 1998 World Cup in France, the 2000 Olympic team in Australia and the youth teams in various World Youth Championships.

His football background includes 17 years in goal in the pro ranks in England in the 1970s and in the United States in the North American Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League in the 1980s.

The University of Portland is a NCAA Division 1 institution in Oregon with 3,900 students and 320 faculty members.

The West Bay Sports Foundation arranged a number of events with coach Irwin including training sessions with the Primary Football League Youth Programme at the TE McField Annex Field and with the women’s teams at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay on Thursday.

There is an Under-18 game between a George Town select team and a West Bay Select team at 5.30pm at the Ed Bush on Friday 18 January and two goalkeepers’ clinics on Saturday at Academy’s field on Outpost Road. First one is at 1pm for players aged between 10-16 and the seniors get their opportunity from 3pm.

Coach Irwin will lead keepers through a two-hour session aimed at strengthening skills, increasing game awareness and building confidence. The two clinics are sponsored by Zolfo Cooper.

Since its inception in 2009, the West Bay Sports Foundation has created opportunities for the Island’s young athletes to excel academically and athletically locally and overseas.

The foundation has also hosted various youth football tournaments and events involving local and overseas teams including the visit of Swindon Town Football Club’s U-13 team from the English professional team’s Youth Academy and CD Vida’s Under 15 team from Honduras.

The foundation’s annual West Bay Community Cup Youth Football Tournament has become a well-supported event showcasing the best young talent in the Under 11, 14 and 17 age groups.

For more information on coach Irwin’s visit, contact Arden Rivers at 927-7011 or Neil Murray at 925-8793. To sign-up for the goalkeeper’s clinics, or e-mail [email protected]

Coach Irwin will lead keepers through a two-hour session aimed at strengthening skills, increasing game awareness and building confidence.

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