Goalkeeping is a special art, hero to zero in an instant. It takes a special kind of character to forge a career between the sticks and in this article I take a look at some of the scenarios that every goalkeeper in Sports can relate to.
1. Delayed High Ball
How many times have we heard the term “its dropping in it’s dropping in” from your beloved commentator? 90% of all high balls are ok, you can handle them but one High Ball I dreaded was the delayed high ball that wouldn’t come down. Dangling up in the air directly over the crossbar, taking longer than a jumbo jet to come down.
Hesitating too long you become disorientated and confused, you get no proper leap at it and before you know it the forward storms in and reaches it before you can, landing you and ball in the back of the net.
Misjudge it’s dissent and leaping too early only leads to you panicking altogether as you try punch, slap or grab at it as you rapidly lose altitude resulting in the ball going over your head and into the net.
Probably the worst scenario is when the ball is on a direct course to land on top of the crossbar, get a hand on it your going to break a finger and the shagging thing still goes over, let it go and your the b****x that wouldn’t go for it. I am not sure which are worse the round crossbars or the rectangle with the edges, but this is where your gloves value are truly tested.
2. Blinding Sun
Did you not bring a cap? No I didn’t it was torrential rain a half hour ago sure. A situation all us goalkeepers have been in, arrive to a game with the wipers on and all of a sudden the sun is splitting the rocks with a beautiful low hanging sun perfect for barbecuing and a nightmare for goalkeeping.
The lended cap situation doesn’t help either as its normally from the parish screwball full of grease, cow shite or simple BO. It’s only a small thing but if you are not use to wearing a cap it can annoy the shagging hell out of you while trying to perform your magic between the sticks.
The only hope you have here is you win the toss play with it and hope to god its gone for the second half.
3. Overly Friendly Umpire
This lad loves the chat while the ball is up the far end and quickly becomes more annoying than the migget’s. “How’s business going Shane?” “Who’s that young center back he hasn’t played much there me thinks?” “Where’s Frankie today” “Are ye missing many?” “Roscommon don’t look to be going too bad”. It got so bad in some games I ended up standing on the 21 yard line any chance I could.
4. Kick out against Gael force wind
Forget about the short kick outs try leather the ball down the field against a gael force wind and a nice bit of rain falling too. Goalkeepers from the coast know fine well what I am on about here. Every keeper will have a go to guy in midfield that digs him out of a hole when things aren’t going great, but when you can’t reach him with the kick out, its open season and another nightmare scenario for us net minders.
5. Dodgy Full Back got the nod in starting line-up
I can’t remember what jockey it was that said in some races they would be riding horses that wouldn’t jump a blade of grass. Liabilities you would be waiting for the inevitable mistake that would send you tumbling to the deck, it’s the same with a dodgy full back. My fellow goalkeepers will agree that if you click with a good full back and are in sync, they can make you look like a hero and vice versa on occasions. However when your tasked with trying to pick up the slack for a dodgy full back it can be a long 70 minutes work. Calling for a ball isn’t in his vocabulary, listening is a foreign language and his marking is as loose as builders trousers.
He’s the managers son and you can’t be too hard on him, giving him a right bolloxing is out of the question. So you end up back chatting with the umpire you’re trying to avoid like a bad smell!