Need to give keepers confidence, says new coach

Les Cleevely, the newly appointed goalkeeping coach of Bangladesh football team, urged to give the goalkeepers confidence and vowed to work on their technical abilities following his first day’s work today.

Goalkeeping errors have proved disastrous for Bangladesh in past, the national side getting knocked out or losing important matches due to goalkeepers’ blunders. During an online press meet today this was pointed out to Cleevely, who has the experience of working as a goalkeeper coach in academies of big clubs like Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

“I think the first thing is we need to work technically and give the goalkeepers enough confidence that they feel they’re not afraid to make mistakes. Like everybody else in the team, our goalkeepers are going to make mistakes. By taking the nerves away from them, they’re less likely to make the fundamental mistakes,” Cleevely said.

“By working on the techniques and if we can keep improving their technical ability then the mistakes will be fewer and fewer. The more concentration we put on them, the better and more comfortable they will be,” the British coach added. 

Cleevely replaces Robert Mimms, another very experienced British coach who has recently taken up a job with Kolkata-based side East Bengal. With the two matches against Nepal slated for this month and no more international engagements in the next four months, Cleevely’s appointment as the goalkeeping coach comes as an assignment-based one, which could be extended further. 

The UEFA A licensed coach, however, is less concerned about that as he is looking forward to the job at hand. “So far so good, everyone’s been very welcoming. It’s good to know the players and today was exceptionally pleasing to get a session in so that I can get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the goalkeepers,” Cleevely said.

The time available may not be an ideal to root out the mistakes of the goalkeepers, let alone work on their basic techniques, but the coach is nevertheless welcoming the challenge with open arms. 

“I’m looking forward to working with them more and get more intensity to their work and techniques and then working towards the game situations,” he added. 

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