If there is one role in the game of football that is in continuous evolution is that of the goalkeeper.
As the Beautiful Game continues to modernise itself, the role of a goalkeeper is not stuck between the sticks, but it is playing a crucial role in the way a team develops and imposes it playing style.
That is why former Maltese Premier League goalkeeper Matthew Towns is delighted to hold the first-ever goalkeeping camp organised by his own Premier Performance Goalkeeping group, sponsored by Everton goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Premier Performance Goalkeeping was an idea that Towns forged during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, back in 2020.
“I began answering requests from goalkeepers regarding one-to-one training sessions and I was helping developing goalkeepers during the difficult times,” Towns told the Times of Malta.
“The number of goalkeepers I was working with soon grew and it led to the sessions becoming more as a group rather than individual specialisation.
“I currently work and help develop around 25 to 30 goalkeepers each week from early development phase all the way to the national team level.
“At Premier Performance Goalkeeping we look to use a holistic development strategy as well as offering off the field support.”
This camp for goalkeepers is set o be held during the Carnival holidays – between February 28 and March 2 – with Towns set to be joined by several elite level coaches and professional footballers from Malta, England and Spain.
There will be two sessions per day at 9am and at 1.30pm, at the Sliema Wanderers pitch in Tigne Point. In addition, a goalkeepers’ battle is going to be organised on the final day of the camp.
The idea is to team up and create a learning experience which is unprecedented in Malta.
Towns will team up with the Ħamrun Spartans’ goalkeepers’ coach Ruben Debono and former Manchester City and England youth goalkeeper Steven Hodgson, who boasts over 400 professional games and who was mentored young custodians at Stoke City, Wrexham and Macclesfield Town.
Miguel Angel Munoz Vacas, a specialist goalkeeper’s coach who is licensed by the Spanish Federation and has several experiences in Spanish football, will be also forming part of the team.
Vacas’s career has seen him work in high-profile clubs like Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Guadalajara, Madrid CFF and the Spanish Federation.
Complimenting the team will be Dr Adele Muscat and Dr Dorianne Caruana Bonnici.
Dr Muscat who is the Malta national team sports psychologist, will be delivering talks about the importance of psychological requirements for goalkeepers.
On the other hand, Dr Caruana Bonnici is a specialist in football nutrition and she will be discussing how nutrition can maximise performance.
Towns, who has plenty of experience in the Maltese Premier League and is now a goalkeepers’ coach at Sliema Wanderers, is also keen in bringing girls on board on his project as the women’s game continues to grow.
“Wit the development of the women’s football ever prevalent, Premier Performance Goalkeeping are keen to help develop an area of the game which has been until now overlooked,” Towns said.
“We are looking to dedicate a group to our girls and women’s goalkeepers while creating a learning environment which is comfortable and beneficial for all participants.
“All groups will be kept to no more than eight goalkeepers to ensure maximum development of each individual and all goalkeepers will work with every goalkeeping coach.”
For further enquiries about this goalkeeping camp, one can contact Matthew Towns on +356 99591644 or email him on [email protected].
Photo c/o Christine Borg.