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FIFA and OFC bring goalkeeper course to American Samoa

Goalkeeper instructor James Bannatyne says that learning the basics of goalkeepering is key to becoming a top-notch goalie. “They just have to understand and work on the basics in order to become a quality goalkeeper,” Bannatyne said.  He was on-island conducting a 4-day training course.

“Goalkeepers are often ignored and growing up as a goalkeeper during practice we were usually left to our own devices,” explained Bannatyne. “For me the position is not looked after as we’d like and our job is to do that this week.”

FFAS Goalkeeper Instructor Uinifareti Aliva assisted Bannatyne during the four-day course. He said, “…we are very thankful to FIFA and OFC for bringing a goalkeeper course to us because it is one of the most important positions out on the field…”

In Bannatyne’s practical sessions the participants, including a few that have appeared in American Samoa’s youth national teams at recent international tournaments, were introduced to the proper techniques of catching the ball and making a dive for a save.

“It’s all about using the proper technique to dive to make a stop,” said Satila Tupua, goalie for the U-23 men’s team during the 2012 OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in Taupo, New Zealand. “You can’t just dive after the ball but use the proper technique. The right way is good footwork before diving after the ball.”