Representatives from 11 different countries were in Dublin to take part in the UEFA Share Goalkeeping Workshop that was hosted by the Football Association of Ireland.
Led by Head of Coach Education Niall O'Regan, the FAI delegation also included Pat Behan, Barry McGann, Robert De Courcy, Aoibh Hall, Darren McGarry, Paul Martyn, Danny O'Leary and Richard Fitzgibbon.
Along with the visiting representatives, there was also UEFA goalkeeping experts Packie Bonner, Hans Leitert, Frans Hoek, Jim Stewart and Jan Erik Stinessen in attendance along with fitness experts Remigiusz Rzepka and Chris Barnes.
The inclusive workshop brought the coaches together to discuss Structure of the game & Goalkeeper’s role, Introduction to UEFA GK Fitness Framework, Collaboration between the GK Coach, Fitness Coach & Staff, Collaboration of Coach Educators, UEFA Women’s Development Framework and Implications for GK Education Pathway Courses.
There was a presentation on the UEFA Women's European Championships, while former Republic of Ireland international Packie Bonner - who is also an FAI Board Member & UEFA Share GK Expert - was able to provide his insights to the position of goalkeeping.
Packie Bonner said: “It has been great to be here in Dublin with the UEFA GK Expert Group, made up of colleagues Hans Leitert, Frans Hoek, Jim Stewart and Jan Erik Stinessen. It was also great to have two of the UEFA Fitness Experts in attendance Remigiusz Rzepka and Chris Barnes.
"The event has given us the opportunity for the first time since COVID to bring 12 countries, 11 visiting Ireland from Andorra, Croatia, England, France, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, San Marino, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales together to share and discuss Goalkeeping and coach development in relation to goalkeeping.
"The Share programme is a fabulous way to connect, discuss, debate and introduce modern trends and approaches to the role of the coach and in this context the goalkeeping coach and is integral in the development of the game throughout UEFA. The three days were interactive, engaging and full of discussion with all member associations getting the chance to share where they are in their own journeys in coach development, while also providing the platform for us to share the plans and aims for the continued development of the goalkeeper in modern football. It was great this week to bring to life our newly created UEFA technical instructor booklet which provides an integrated and collaborative approach to goalkeeping.”
FAI Director of Football Marc Canham said: “It was great to welcome the delegates from eleven countries across UEFA member associations to the Goalkeeping UEFA Share event in Dublin this week. We have had the pleasure now to have hosted Share events in Grassroots Football, Women’s football, Football Fitness and now the most recent in Goalkeeping. Bringing other Associations and experts to Ireland as part of the UEFA Share programme has given us the opportunity to provide in-person experiences of the environments we set for coach development in the FAI and it is always a great privilege to host these share events.”
Niall O’Regan said: “We have had an excellent few days hosting the UEFA Share programme in goalkeeping. It is great to have Packie here with us delivering the event with the other UEFA experts and it is a great honour to be asked by UEFA to host these events. The event gave us an opportunity to review where we are in goalkeeping education and development and where we want to be. Packie and the team from UEFA have developed a phenomenal resource for all member associations through the new UEFA technical Instructor booklet and this resource will assist us in the continued integration of goalkeeping into our education and training.
"This is the fourth such UEFA Share where we have had 11 countries with us this week, eight countries for the Grassroots Share, seven countries for the Women’s Football Share and six countries for the Fitness Share, getting the opportunity to host so many of our colleagues has been hugely beneficial and rewarding for us to be able to share our ethos, approach and environment.”
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