Bournemouth leading the way in goalkeeper training and technology

Mark Ogden visits Bournemouth to learn more about the technology keeping their goalkeepers at the top of their game.

BOURNEMOUTH, England — Jimmy Glass is the Player Liaison Officer at AFC Bournemouth, but only the older members of Eddie Howe’s first-team squad are aware of his biggest claim to fame.

Glass, 44, is the goalkeeper who became a global sensation in May 1999 — back in the days when “social media” amounted to watching a game on television with your mates and dissecting it with a face-to-face conversation rather than tweeting, posting or uploading your reaction for potential consumption by millions.

When Glass scored the winning goal against Plymouth Argyle, with virtually the last kick of the game, to keep Carlisle United in the Football League — in what was his third and final game for the club — it secured his place in football folklore.

Today, the memory of that goal still serves as a reminder of those less-complicated days when the game was so much simpler. But fast-forward to 2017 and, for Glass, football is all about modernity and new ideas; Bournemouth are at the forefront of taking goalkeeping into a new age of technology and data-based analysis that was not even a pipe dream when Glass was playing.

“Back then, training for a goalkeeper was joining in with the rest of the team and having the strikers shoot at you all morning,” Glass told ESPN FC. “You might have had one session a week with a goalkeeping coach if you were lucky, but it is so much better for keepers now.”

In a game now dominated by the search for the elusive “one percent gain” which can be the difference between success and failure, Bournemouth’s 11 goalkeepers — from youth-team to first-team — belong to one of a growing number of Premier League outfits, including Chelsea and Tottenham, who have adopted the Catapult G5 goalkeeper monitoring system: a GPS device worn between the shoulder blades in a mini-vest, which has been designed to provide the same kind of…

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