The second installment of our keeper clinic series was particularly exciting this week.....three guest coaches made a special appearance! The Club was thrilled to welcome HFX Wanderers FC Asst Coach Michael Hunter, St Mary's keeper Christian Oxner and Illinois State keeper Haley Smith.
(Coach Mike Hunter challenges U15A Kiel Rehman.)
As a former keeper himself, Storm Coach Mark Harper knew he wanted to provide our Storm keepers this winter season with specialized training sessions. "Coaching for the goalkeeper position is often overlooked and under-resourced by Clubs", said Mark. "We felt that pulling our keepers together for a series of keeper clinics was one way to tackle this, giving them a chance to learn and have fun as a group." Claiming a section of turf at our Wednesday night practice at Newbridge Academy, Coach Mark invited our designated and fledgling keepers aged U10 - U17 to be put through their paces.
The second installment in a five part series, this week's session was both highly anticipated and incredibly well received. The Club was very fortunate to have three special guest coaches on hand to challenge our keepers with a specialized skills and drills session.
Much to the delight of our players, HFX Wanderers FC Assistant Coach Mike Hunter, St Mary's University keeper Christian Oxner and Illinois State University keeper Haley Smith carved out time to spend the evening with our keepers. All three individuals have a wealth of experience and first hand knowledge of what it takes to be a focused and dedicated keeper and they were more than happy to share their passion with our players.
With a myriad of coaching qualifications under his belt, Coach Mike Hunter is also the owner of Serious Soccer Consulting. (Check out his bio here....) Mike's program is designed for players looking to take their game to the next level. He specializes in helping individuals enhance their "Soccer IQ" and enables players to develop a deeper understanding of the game. Our Storm keepers were very lucky to experience Mike's expert coaching and his exciting approach to learning.
Also joining us for the session was Christian Oxner, who has signed with the HFX Wanderers FC (Canadian Premier League). Christian was recently profiled in "From Aways; A Halifax Wanderers Blog" and you can find out his stats with the St Mary's Huskies by clicking here.
Rounding out our trio of special guests was Haley Smith, who is currently the keeper for Illinois State Redbirds. (Check out her bio here....) Only in town for a few more days until she returns to her studies, Haley's appearance at our clinic was met with great excitement by our players. Our younger girls in particular connected with Haley, perhaps seeing what they can achieve if they work hard at a sport they love.
Storm extends our gratitude to Mike, Christian and Haley for taking the time to attend our session.....their community spirit and love for the game is evident. Goal keepers are the last line of defence against an opposition attack and our players certainly picked up some tips to help them prepare for their next game!