Jake’s mastering his craft - September 12 2012
Jake’s mastering his craft
September 12 2012
Exciting young goalkeeping prospect Jake Keating has undergone a valuable apprenticeship at Shepparton United this season.
The 16-year-old has served as understudy to experienced Victorian Premier League keeper Manny Papastamatis this season, as well as continuing to develop in the club’s division two men’s and under-17 teams.
Keating made the last of his four senior appearances in Sunday’s RPL preliminary final defeat to Cobram Victory, following a red card to Papastamatis.
It was the second time he had been subbed on in such circumstances and he admitted it was always a challenge.
‘‘You don’t have much time to warm up and a lot of the time you sit there (on the bench) expecting to be watching a good game and then all of a sudden the keeper gets a red card or injured and you’re straight into the action,’’ Keating said.
‘‘Being switched on from the word go is a major thing there.’’
Keating started against West Griffith earlier in the season and against Twin City Wanderers in the State Knockout Cup, which he said he found ‘‘pretty comfortable’’.
With Melbourne-based Papastamatis unable to train, Keating has benefited from being the number one keeper at training, but said his teammate had given him guidance as well.
‘‘Manny’s taught me a bit about free kicks and set pieces and how he sets players up,’’ he said.
‘‘Having trained regularly and played a few games I’m starting to adapt to the pressure.’’
Keating believes he is ready to take the next step and has identified a goalkeepers’ tour, run by Red Lion Football as the way to go.
The 22-day tour departs in November and visits various elite clubs in England and Spain, including Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona.
‘‘The experience that some of the goalkeeping coaches at these clubs would have and they would be able to give you would really improve my game,’’ he said.
‘‘Training at some of their grounds and going to some of the big English Premier League games would be a great experience.’’
The tour costs about $7000 a player and Keating is still trying to raise enough money to go.
Shepparton United coach Aaron Westervelt said while his small stature was not ideal, Keating had the makings of an excellent goalkeeper.
‘‘Jake’s improved from pre-season to now with the work he’s put in, not only with us, but individually as well,’’ Westervelt said.
‘‘He’s still got a lot to learn and he’s probably the first one to tell you that, but he’s got the determination and the right attitude to go wherever he wants to go.’’
If anyone is interested in sponsoring Keating, they can phone Natalie at Shepparton United on 0412 355 713.