Loach: I’m not ready to give up playing yet

Here is part two of my interview with Barnet keeper Scott Loach on his new venture which kicks off on Wednesday night:

TK: Where will the school be actually based, just in Southwell?

SL: Yeah, based there but not exclusive to people just living in Southwell. I’ve got people from Newark, Chesterfield, Derby so it’s open to everyone. It’s on a Wednesday night and will be split into age categories, I’m not separating genders so we all work and learn together.

On the launch night there will be 18 keepers split into three groups of six and we will rotate every 15 minutes to do a different drill, to get a good feel of things, none of this waiting around to do something, that’s the young keepers.

I’ve got a young lad called Harry Chapman who is the youth team keeper at Chesterfield who’s going to be my right hand man, good for me and good experience for him too. He’s only 17, but his passport must say he’s much older, he’s massive, like Aymen a rare breed!

There’s Philipa Davies who’s at (Nottingham) Forest at the moment and she’ll pop along too, I think it’s good for both the boys and the girls to have people there to look up to and aspire to.

So there will the first group from 5pm-6pm up to age 10, then 6.15-7.15 up to age 13 and finally 7.30-8.30 the older ones around 15-16 year olds who you can really put through their paces.

I’m lucky to have a lot of contacts within the game so Steve Cherry who used to play for Derby and Notts County I’m friends with his son and others so I’m aiming to get a guest down every four or five weeks as well just to bring a different voice in really and also different styles.

TK: You’ve got 34 keepers ready to go so far, what’s the maximum you can accommodate?

SL: At the moment it’s 36 so I can aim to split into three groups of 12 at each level. The youngers ones it’s not so bad, but the middle ones I’m more keen on as they’re just starting secondary school so you want to keep their focus.

If the numbers increase then we would add another night, not for being greedy but for their development, you don’t want to be making a save then having to wait ten turns to make another save.

Eventually it’ll be one drill, then swop between Harry and I, if you have too many then it becomes harder to keep them interested.

TK: You mentioned the youngest keepers are six years old, what age groups are you going up to?

SL: Honestly, I’ll go up to adults that’s not a problem, it would just mean a separate night because you wouldn’t want to move the kids sessions around to put the eleven year olds with the fifteen year olds.

I wouldn’t write anyone off, write any gender off, even if a four year old wanted to give it a go I’d obviously have a look at them and be honest with the parents if they’re not quite ready yet, but I think anyone over the age of 16 would need and want more from a session so I would look to do a different night with them.

TK: Is this the full time aim for you once you decide to hang up the gloves and stop the goals going in?

SL: Erm, kind of! My ideal scenario would be like Rhys and Darren were doing at Barnet, into a club two or three days a week daytime and then my coaching school in the evening for two or three nights.

Of course I’m talking at the lower levels though and if you work your way up the ladder it becomes full time the higher you go obviously. But, definitely looking at least two nights a week for me and something part time, but I’m not ready to give up playing yet.

One thing I have loved this year is working with Aymen (Azaze) and James (Callen) where younger keepers are of the age still wanting to learn but I wouldn’t rule out working with first team experienced keepers, I’m open to everything.

TK: Final one, what can young keepers expect to learn from Scott Loach?

SL: I am massive on not teaching a kid how to catch the ball, that’s not goalkeeping. I think I’ve said to you before my style is different to Aymen’s, to James, so with the aim to keep the ball out of the net, my teaching is footwork.

Not your Eddison footwork where you take a back pass, Cruyff it and ping it out to the fullback, but speed across the goal. The quicker you get into line the more shots you save and how you keep it out is up to you. If you watched De Gea at the weekend, shots hitting him everywhere, unorthodox but effective and that’s huge for me.

I can show them how much distance they can cover in and around the goal, that’s my main objective besides keeping that ball from crossing the white line.

My thanks to Scott for his time, Scott Loach GK Coaching School launches on Wednesday 12th May at Southwell City FC at 6pm.

For more details check out Scott on social media:

http://www.scottloach-gk.co.uk

scott@scottloch-gk.co.uk

Instagram: scottloachgk

Loach: I’m with them on their whole journey

On Wednesday 12th May former Watford, England, Hartlepool and current Barnet goalkeeper Scott Loach launches his own goalkeeping school. Last week I caught up with the experienced stopper to find out why he ended up at Barnet, how the coaching school developed and his plans for the future when the gloves are finally hung up.

Here is part one of the interview, part two follows on Tuesday evening:

TK: What set you on the way to being a goalkeeper?

SL: Haha! Well two reasons, it happened when I was eight and on trial at Ipswich. I wanted to be a striker really, but the keeper got injured so I went in goal and it was one of those games where I dived the wrong way and still saved the ball, deflected shots etc, all kept out so the scout watching said ‘he’s a keeper’. So back on trial as a goalkeeper and here I am.

The second reason is a die-hard Manchester Utd fan growing up with the Class of ’92 and Peter Schmeichel, not fussed about anyone else but have never met him. He’s the only one I’d be a fan of and ask for a picture!

TK: What was it that brought you to Barnet where you are now?

SL: Two reasons here also and you know already one of them. Firstly, the infrastructure there. I’d always played well at The Hive for opposition teams, location was just about ok for travel for my family and I.

But the biggest reason I signed was Darren (Currie). I can remember exactly where I was when he phoned me, I’d just dropped off my wife at our friends place and nipped to Sainsburys to grab some bits, Daz phoned me and by the time I was back from shopping I knew I was going to Barnet.

I had some league interest but logistically with my daughter starting school, my son there too, it would have meant moving but Daz sold it to me, not the dream but wanting me as a player which is big, was honest and straight up and made me want to come and work for him. From what you see on social media I’m not the only one to say things like that.

TK: The coaching school which launches on Wednesday evening, has it been something on your radar to want to do or something that’s come up as an opportunity?

SL: I’ll be honest, I had a little dabble at it a few years ago and hated every single minute of it. I’ve always loved working with kids, got a big family and means you never have to grow up!

Ask Sparksy (Dan Sparkes) Elliott Johnson or Cal (Callum Reynolds) our car school I’m a coffee addict so it was always coffee shops, coffee shops. Then lockdown hit and it was Adam Collin the ex-Notts County keeper who has his own coaching school and asked me to come to help him out and I literally fell in love with it.

In my local village there are 40 teams ranging from age 6 all the way up to men’s teams and women’s teams as well so I thought I’d see if there was any interest and since that first lockdown last year it’s just taken off and taken off and now I’m obsessed with it!

This year at Barnet we had firstly Rhys Evans and then Darren Acton for just a couple of days a week so that gave me time with Aymen (Azaze) and James (Callen) so I’m taking the credit for those two this season!

Have to say though Darren was first class, but a massive shout out to Rhys, I wish I could have worked with him full time the way he was set up, brilliant. We also had Jamie Stephens coming in as well, what a player! Aymen will tell you the pair of us could just watch Jamie glide through training.

TK: Given your current situation at Barnet has that allowed you more time to get things in place ready for the launch night?

SL: Yeah, for the last three weeks or so I’ve been training elsewhere so I’ve had more time at home to plan and get in more sessions after school. Not being big-headed but I do have a bit of a name in the game with Watford and the England stuff but I’ve never really used it and kids now are looking up to it and thinking ‘wow’.

It’s not going to be built in a day but hopefully we’ll start with two evenings a week so I split the kids up and that way smaller groups you can work more intimately with to get the best out of it.

They’re coming down for me, I’m not one that’s going to be trying to sell his gloves, kit etc if your hero is David De Gea you come in a De Gea, if it’s Aymen Azaze then you come as Azaze, had to get his name in here somehow!

I’m with them on their whole journey, I’ve had my nephew recently with me whose seven and at Nottingham Forest and another lad whose 12 but both get the same workout, I don’t believe in dumbing it down or up depending on age.

TK: Why Southwell? Is it the nearest village to you?

SL: It’s my village! If you’ve seen Hot Fuzz it’s exactly like that village, in fact I’m sure it was based on it! It’s a little posh village just outside Nottingham, everyone knows everyone it’s one of those kinds of places, I grew up here, its given me great memories and my best friend here is the first team manager, they’re doing very well at Step 7.

They’ve said to me I can use all the facilities, floodlights in the winter etc in return for a free session every now and then, we’ll help you raise your profile at the same time so they’ve been brilliant so far for me.

I really want it to be the hub of the community on a Wednesday evening, families can come down, siblings can play in the park next door and parents can come and have a drink and as the club itself grows with a new ground then it becomes more nights a week.

For more details check out Scott on social media:

http://www.scottloach-gk.co.uk

scott@scottloch-gk.co.uk

Instagram: scottloachgk