BFC hire Ali to shore up goalkeeping chinks

I-League leaders gear up for forthcoming Federation Cup

BFC hire Ali to shore up goalkeeping chinks

 Leaving no stone unturned in just their maiden adventure, Bengaluru FC have roped in goalkeeping coach Ali Uzunhasanoglu to address the final line of defence in their quest for glory.

Leading the I-League table at the end of 2013, Bengaluru have procured the services of  Uzunhasanoglu, a Turkish first division player who has been settled in the United Kingdom for the last two decades and has had coaching stints with several clubs there. With the team set to leave soon for the January 14-25 Federation Cup in Kerala, the move comes a shot in the arm.

“I don’t exactly know the culture but I like these goalkeepers,” Uzunhasanoglu told media here in his first interaction. “Of course, they have a few things missing. Size-wise, in UK we look for bigger goalkeepers but the keepers here are okay -- they are decent-sized.

“I’ve never seen them in a game yet. You can judge a ’keeper only during a game and how consistent he is in it. Over time, I’ll get to know how good or bad they are. However, they are working hard and listening well, which is very important.”

Uzunhasanoglu, who has mentored Norwich City and England goalkeeper John Ruddy, feels Bengaluru FC goalkeepers lack in technical ability. “They don’t move their feet well enough, their take-off time is wrong. I don’t know if it’s a mental issue or a tactical one -- only time will tell. But they are good lads. Let’s see what I can bring to the club. I’m confident I can help the.”

Picking Chelsea’s Petr Cech and Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris as his favourites, Uzunhasanoglu believes a goalkeeper hits his peak at 26. “Iker Casillas started playing at 16 years and is still going strong. Funny enough they (Real Madrid) dropped him. If you are good enough, your age does not matter. But your peak time is 26. “Most ’keepers learn the game after 26 when they get a better understanding of the tactical and mental sides of the game.

Goalkeeping is a very tough job because you have to be mentally strong. (Fabien) Barthez, the world’s number one keeper then, came to Manchester United in 2000. Two mistakes, and he’s gone (in 2004). It’s that tough. It’s for that reason we need to prepare them mentally as well.”When asked about the qualities required to become a successful keeper, Uzunhasanoglu put it bluntly -- hard work. “If your physical frame is right and mentally strong enough, the rest is all hard work. Technical stuff, you can work on it. The problem is are you clever enough to be strong? Stay strong physically, mentally, tactically? Can you stay longer competitively in your department? Because there will be many ’keepers pushing you to take your place. Question is simple but answers are too many.”

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry