The Scottish FA's Coach Education Department has held its first in-person Continuous Professional Development event since before the Covid-19 pandemic, with an event for goalkeepers taking place at Hampden Park.
The seminars have taken place online for the past few years. While the Coach Education Department has been commended for its transition to successfully delivered remote sessions, there was a sense from attendees that the return of an in-person event was a positive step.
Over 70 people were in attendance for the 'Intro to Goalkeeping Statistics' seminar, which was guest-led by Dr John Harrison from Goalkeeper-XG.
Goalkeeper-XG – a division of Goalkeeper.com - are a goalkeeper-specific data and analytics consultancy who work with a range of elite football clubs worldwide. The presentation focused on marginal gains for goalkeepers and gave insight into how data can be used to determine the monetary value of the goalkeeper position to clubs - by excluding external factors such as defensive mistakes.
Although primarily aimed at goalkeeping coaches, there was a wide variety of attendees including current goalkeepers and assistant managers at top flight Scottish clubs.
With numbers of UEFA licence graduates through the Scottish FA increasing all the time, the Coach Education team aim to deliver CPD events more regularly, to allow those who hold a UEFA Licence to reach their mandatory threshold of 15 hours of CPD in a three-year period.
This event marks the latest offering aimed towards goalkeepers, after the announcement earlier this month of a bespoke double running of the UEFA C Licence and UEFA Goalkeeping B Licence courses.
Applications are still open for the course, which will kick off on Friday, 7th April. Should candidates successfully complete the UEFA C Licence, they will be able to go straight onto a UEFA Goalkeeping B Licence course, that begins in May and concludes in November.
The Scottish FA Coach Education Department are also offering a significantly discounted rate for candidates who are looking to complete both courses in 2023.
Paul Mathers, Goalkeeping Performance and Coach Education Manager, Scottish FA: "It was fantastic to welcome so many people to Hampden for an in-person CPD event once again.
"We were fortunate to have Goalkeeper-XG along to deliver a thought-provoking session and I am certain that their innovation will provide valuable ideas for those in attendance to take back to their clubs.
"With the double offering of the bespoke UEFA C Licence and UEFA Goalkeeping B Licence courses to come, we are working proactively to ensure that 2023 is a hugely positive year for goalkeeping coaches.”
Brendan Roslund, Chief Operating Officer, Goalkeeper.com: “The goalkeeper position has not historically had such a statistical observation of it so that’s what we are attempting at Goalkeeper-XG.
“The majority of goalkeepers and coaches that we have worked with love it because we’re giving them access to a whole new way to evaluate and drive their departments forward.
“We’re thankful to the Scottish FA for having us and the questions were challenging from an engaged audience."
Paul Gallagher, Goalkeeping Coach, Heart of Midlothian: “It’s great when you come to these events because it is your peers. It’s people you see on a regular basis. People who are at the same level.
"There’s also some who are working at academy level so you can pass on knowledge, stories and share things.
“It’s important to meet people again and get contacts. We’re all in the same boat. We all have the same problems at clubs and the same issues that arise. So it’s vital for me to talk to somebody that understands the position I'm in as well."
Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis: “The coaches use a lot of stats and, as players, we’re going to have to start using them more.
“It was brilliant to have people from all ages here. You’ve got those who have been there and done it and it’s brilliant that they're are open minded and don’t have a fixed mindset.
“There’s lots of different viewpoints in the room. Everyone knows that data and statistics are not as accurate for goalkeepers. We’re seeing why they’re not and why they can be better but it is definitely getting there.
“As someone who came down especially for the event, I enjoyed it. Even just speaking to people in between, the break out groups and the Q&A was very interesting as well.”