I always know that when Danny Robinson is keeping goal in a game I’m covering, when I’m standing at his end I can expect a friendly greeting as he jogs to his goal. And I always want to stand at the end at which he is keeping. Why? Because if you haven’t heard Danny marshalling his defence then you haven’t heard Shakespeare the way it’s meant to be done. That, and I always like to say hi.
But yesterday, I got a little bit more than I bargained for! As he ran to his goal right before kick-off in the Waitakere vs Phoenix ASB Premiership clash, he had this to say:
“ENZO!! Wanna come and see Eric Steele tomorrow???”
It took me about a 32ndth of a nanosecond to decide that I did and reply in the affirmative!
Eric Steele, in case you aren’t aware, is a goalkeeping coaching guru who has guided some of the best stoppers in the business at clubs such as Leeds, Derby, Manchester City, Aston Villa, and, for five years under Sir Alex Fergusson, at Manchester United from 2008 until 2013.
He is currently in New Zealand, where for the next few days he’ll be running a ‘masterclass’ with kiwi coaches. But today, he was putting some of our most talented national team keepers, and their coaches, through their paces.
It was fascinating to watch. And I got to shake his hand which is pretty cool in a completely non-creepy kind of way when you think about some of the hands he must have shaken in his time! The number of degrees of separation between myself and the likes of Sir Alex, Joe Hart, Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar and David de Gea has just been reduced by a factor of a few thousand!
There wasn’t an opportunity to talk to him in any depth beyond some banter about Roma – and rightly so. NZF needs to utilise every second of his time getting the maximum benefit from his visit for our local keepers. But I did get a few pics to share so here they are.
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.