WSL

Shaw praises Goater's role in career growth at City Featured

By Sports Desk January 02, 2024 672
Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw

Jamaica’s Khadija “Bunny” Shaw heaped praises on Bermudian Shaun Goater for the guidance he gave towards her now dazzling career at Manchester City.

Shaw, who joined Manchester City in 2021, said the relationship with Goater was the platform that assisted her to not only find her footing, but more importantly, enjoy her football at the club. That has resulted in her rich vein of form.

Goater, a member of City’s women’s coaching staff headed by Garth Taylor, netted 103 goals in 212 appearances during his impressive run between 1998 and 2003.

 “Shaun came more often towards the end of last year, but even in the beginning, he would (give) me little pointers that would go a far way, because sometimes the little details can go a far way,” Shaw shared.

“For example, towards the beginning of last year he would tell me little stuff like ‘try not to let the centre backs see you and the ball’. So, I would take stuff like that and try it on the training pitch at first and then sometimes I would do it in games,” she added.

The towering striker, who ended 2023 atop the Women’s Super League (WSL) scorers list, pointed out that the relationship with Goater took flight when he officially joined the coaching staff.

“When I heard he was coming around more often I was excited because now he could actually come on the pitch, and we could actually work together more often and stuff like that. Shaun’s great for sure,” she declared.

Goater first joined City’s Academy coach staff two years ago and worked with various age groups from the foundation level up to the professional development level.

The 53-year-old, who holds an UEFA ‘A’ licence, also worked with forwards at Doncaster Rovers and St Johnstone during brief spells. He joined Taylor’s staff close to a year now, a move Shaw said has been fruitful for her career.

Shaw has so far tallied 21 goals in the 2023/24 season, and her feat has positioned Manchester City in second on 22 points, three behind leaders Chelsea.

The 26-year-old’s rich vein of form puts her ahead of Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly (18), Bethany England (12) of Tottenham Hotspur, and Brighton Hove and Albion’s Elisabeth Terland (12), as she aims to repeat her Player-of-the-Season feat from last season when she tallied 31 goals in 30 games across all competitions.

“In my first year, I would walk around, and I would see him, and he would say ‘let’s catch up, let’s catch up’, but we never got the opportunity to,” she revealed during a club podcast on New Year’s Day.

“He would watch some of the games … and I would always see him around, but we never got the opportunity to catch up. Last year, my second year, he came around more often … we would sit down and watch videos. I love Shaun,” Shaw ended.

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