Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake describes his first staging of a two-day goalkeeper clinic a tremendous success, as he offered guidance to some of the country's upcoming stalwarts at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on December 14 and 15. 

Over 20 goalkeepers from across the Manning and daCosta Cup, and two women goalkeepers from the Reinas Academy attended the invitational clinic to receive world-class training from several coaches.

The goalkeeper coaches included Blake’s Philadelphia Union coach, Phil Wheddon, Jamaica’s Under 20 Goalkeeper coach, Andrew Sewell, Reinas Academy’s Neo Oxford, Kingston College’s Robert Beckford and Reggae Boyz Goalkeeper Jahmali Waite.
Blake pointed out that the two-day clinic delivered as expected.

“The commitment and focus from all the goalkeepers was good, and the hope is that they will return to their clubs and schools realising what they need to work on to get to the next level," Blake said.

“Playing at the highest level teaches you a lot, and this is what I’m sharing. We may find gems slipping through the cracks here, so if we can find them and help them, that’s good for our country and their personal and professional development," he added.

The clinic exercises included handling, diving, cutbacks, repositioning, functional play and more.

“Over the two days, we did a lot of footwork because goalkeeping is changing, and if you can’t use your feet, you’re at a disadvantage, so if we can get them into that from now, we can set them up for success," Blake reasoned.

Clarendon College’s starting goalkeeper Roshae Burrell praised the clinic highly: “It was a great experience; I learned a lot from Andre Blake. He’s a good trainer, and Coach Phil is a vibe; he is a good coach!”

For Hydel High’s Tajarie Lee, it was a wonderful experience, “The clinic has been great; I learnt a lot and all that they teach us, I intend to put it on the training ground and the pitch going forward."

National Under-20 Coach Andrew Sewell was both a teacher and a student. “The experience was pretty wonderful, I must say. It was top-notch and professional. The clinic was well-needed, and I learned a lot as well. I must commend Mr. Andre Blake for this initiative.”

The Andre Blake Goalkeeper Clinic was made possible by the kind support of the JFF, ISSA, The Sagicor Foundation, Spectrum Systems, PrintWare Tech, Tru Shake, Powerade, Wata, Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Leep Marketing and Uhlsport.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) commended Reggae Boyz Captain and goalkeeper Andre Blake for the successful hosting of a Goalkeeping Clinic at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence over the last two days.  
Blake alongside national teammate Jahmali Waite, national goalkeeper coach Andre Sewell, Philadelphia Union’s goalkeeper coach Phil Wheddon, Reinas Academy’s Neo Oxford and Kingston College’s Robert Beckford, worked with 24 youth goalkeepers selected from the ISSA Manning Cup, daCosta Cup and two female goalkeepers from Reina’s Academy.  
General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation Dennis Chung lauded the initiative from Blake and his team of coaches.
“Andre is an outstanding ambassador for Jamaica and has always represented our nation well. We are pleased with this project and look forward to working with him in the future with more clinics of this nature. This will certainly aid the development of goalkeepers on the island," Chung said.
Blake, who is a three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, made his senior debut for the Reggae Boyz in 2014, and will celebrate 10 years as a national player next year. He has been a part of five Concacaf Gold Cup squads for Jamaica, made one Copa America appearance in 2016, and was a member of the Jamaican team that won the 2014 Caribbean Cup.
The 33-year-old is expected to lead the Reggae Boyz in the Nations League semi-finals against United States, as well as the prestigious CONMEBOL Copa America tournament, next year.

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz captain and shot stopper Andre Blake, will host a goalkeeping clinic at the UWI-Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, on December 14 and 15. The clinic will run from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

This clinic will provide exceptional goalkeeper training to more than 24 youth goalkeepers selected from the top ISSA Manning Cup and daCosta Cup teams, and two female goalkeepers from Reinas Academy.

The goalkeepers will receive top-notch training led by the experienced Phil Wheddon, who also serves as Andre Blake’s goalkeeper coach at Philadelphia Union.

Wheddon is the only goalkeeper coach in United States history to have coached both the men’s and women’s national teams in a FIFA World Cup. He coached in three World Cups and won two Olympic gold medals with United States.

Other participating goalkeeper coaches include Jamaica Under-20 coach Andrew Sewell, national goalkeeper Jahmali Waite, Reinas Academy’s Neo Oxford and Kingston College’s Robert Beckford.

Blake, who will lead the Reggae Boyz into Concacaf Nations League semi-final action, as well as the CONMEBOL Copa America next year, explains the rationale behind the initiative.

“To whom much is given, much is required, and so this is my way of supporting the next generation of goalkeepers. I want to see what these goalkeepers look like and try to educate them on what it will take to get to the next level. Having Phil on board is great because he brings an extensive amount of knowledge and experience with him,” Blake shared.

Blake’s initiative is supported the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), Sagicor Foundation, Spectrum Systems Limited, TruShake, Powerade, Courtyard Marriott, Leep Marketing, and UNL Sport.

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