Norwich City Under-23s goalkeeper Archie Mair earned his callup to Scotland’s Under-19s team this season and has spent time training with City’s first-team goalkeepers, so it’s been a year of progress for the shot-stopper.
In a feature that originally appeared in OTBC, our official award-winning matchday programme, we spoke to Tim Krul, Joe Rose, Mair and goalkeeping coaches Ed Wootten and Tom Weal to understand the factors that contribute to the success.
Next up, Archie Mair…
canaries.co.uk: What do you put the success of our goalkeepers down to?
AM: The setup between the coaches – Tom Weal and the first team – is really good. They’re always looking for things we need to work on individually. If we’ve ever got any questions, then we can go straight to them. They’re very open with each other so there’s a good link.
If we’re training with the first team, they’ll always speak to each other and let each other know how we’re getting on in training and games.
On top of that, for the young goalies we’ve got really good senior goalies in Tim and Michael. Every opportunity that you get to work with them is a learning curve.
Tim has played in the World Cup. Michael’s played in the Euros, so they’ve played at the top level, the highest there is. You need to take everything on board from them as well as the coaches.
canaries.co.uk: What’s it like when you go into the first-team environment for the first time? Do they help with your confidence?
AM: From the first time I trained with them they were all spot on, putting an arm round me and making me feel welcome first and foremost.
Throughout sessions they give me advice here and there, speaking about things away from it as well. All of them are top class guys and really help you when you go up, making you feel welcome.
canaries.co.uk: So, what are the different techniques you learn from the other goalkeepers?
AM: Well the modern goalkeeper has got to be good with their feet. It’s a huge part of the game for goalkeepers now. That comes from us joining in possession drills.
In my third session with the first team the boss wanted me to go in a possession drill with them, so there wasn’t time to be behind and hold possession back. You’ve got to adapt and have confidence in yourself.
German goalkeepers use different techniques and positioning to save the ball when one on one because they’ve been brought up in different cultures and taught different ways to what we have in Britain.
It’s just about finding what works for you, whether that be something you’ve taken from someone else or adapted yourself.
canaries.co.uk: How important is it to have the support of the crowd behind you when you’re trying to save a penalty?
AM: That’s a huge thing. When it comes to penalties, a lot of it is mind games. Tim is renowned for being good at saving penalties and getting the crowd on his side.
It played on Rashford’s mind against Man United. He went the right way and saved the penalty, so there are lots of different things that can be done when facing a penalty.
You go with what feels right at the time to try to get into the striker’s head. It’s all about those advantages because you’d say it’s in their favour already to score, so you need to gain as much advantage as possible in order to save the penalty.