Norwich City’s goalkeeping department has had a lot to celebrate during the 2019-20 season.
Tim Krul was twice named the club’s Player of the Month, Archie Mair and Daniel Barden made their Under-19s debuts for Scotland and Wales respectively, while Joe Rose became the club’s first scholar to play in goal for Norwich City’s Under-23s.
Not to mention Aston Oxborough, who recently extended his stay at the club following a good spell on loan at Wealdstone FC.
In a feature that originally appeared in OTBC, our official award-winning matchday programme, we spoke to Krul, Mair, and Rose, as well as goalkeeping coaches Ed Wootten and Tom Weal to understand the factors that contribute to the success.
First up, our first-team’s spot-kick specialist…
OTBC: Tim, you’ve had a couple of Player of the Month awards this season and our academy goalkeepers have had success too. What do you put that down to?
TK: The dynamics are really good. The young lads are allowed to train with the first-team goalkeepers quite often, so they pick up a lot from that.
Tom Weal is a really good goalkeeper coach and he and Ed Wootten liaise with each other. They’re always thinking about the next plan to work on. We’ve got a lot of talented goalkeepers at this club for sure.
OTBC: When you see the young lads coming into training for the first time, are they really confident, or do you have to put an arm around them?
TK: It’s mixed. I know how I felt when I was first training with a first team. It’s obviously different than training with your own age category of goalkeepers.
I like it when the younger ones come and train with us. It’s a different environment and it’s just nice to see talented goalkeepers. I always like to work with them and try to give them a few tips. It’s always nice to see when they pick it up quite quickly and step on from there.
OTBC: We’ve seen a lot of penalties given this season.
Going back to Marcus Rashford’s against you earlier in the season, by the time he stepped up to take it you’d got the crowd going behind you and it felt like it was going to be harder for him to score than miss.
Is that something you work on a lot or was that just instinct?
TK: The crowd was ready for it, I think. It was such a soft penalty, they both were, that the crowd were ready to put the boys off.
It’s never nice to concede a penalty but it’s nice when you’ve got the whole crowd behind you rallying you to save it. We were unlucky with the one against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that got taken away from us. You have to try to use everything you have to make it more difficult for the striker.
OTBC: Has VAR influenced how you’re training in terms of saving penalties, making sure you’re staying on the line?
TK: Yeah, with the new rule you can’t dive off it too much. That’s changed things a bit and made it more difficult for goalkeepers, but so be it.