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Andy's handy for Stoke's keepers

No top club exists these days without a goalkeeping coach among their staff. Stoke City are no exception.

The Potters have an enviable squad of shot stoppers in their ranks, coached by Andy Quy, an ex-keeper whose own career was cruelly cut short by injury.

With Thomas Sorensen (pictured), Asmir Begovic and Carlo Nash to look after, what does his role entail? Total Football's Phil Nicholas asked him.

What were the circumstances and reasons for why you quit playing to become a coach at such an early age?

I was playing at Hereford United in the Conference and had a couple of operations on my knee from which I never really recovered.

I continued to play non league for the following three seasons, while gaining experience coaching. I had always enjoyed coaching, helping out with the schoolboys whilst a YTS at Tottenham and as a young pro at Derby. I spent two years working with Derby County's Academy and then three years with Aston Villa's Academy before working with Lincoln City's first team goalkeepers.

How did the job at Stoke come about?

I heard that the club were looking for a goalkeeping coach and had an interview with the manager Tony Pulis. He told me what he was looking for and what the job would entail. It was the start of the promotion year from the Championship (2007-08) which proved to be a very exciting season.

Can you describe a typical training day at the club and how much time you get to spend with the keepers?

The players have their own individual programmes to work on before we start on the pitches. I will work with the three pro keepers before they go into work with the outfield players (manager’s session).

Once the manager has finished I will take the keepers again for some more specific work on the pitches, we'll then have a gym session (2-3 times per week) depending on games. During the week we will also look over video footage of both our last and next games.

Do you also look after the academy goalkeepers - and are there some promising ones coming through the system?

We have an academy goalkeeping coach but I oversee the progress of our two Under 18 keepers on a daily basis. We try to integrate them into sessions with the pros as often as possible. We have Daniel Bachman, who is involved with the Austrian U18s, and Dale Eve, who is a very promising U17s keeper.

Has Stoke's success improved the training facilities and your role?

The club has made great steps forward in all areas during the time that I have been here. Probably the most noticeable improvement is to the training ground, on which we have a brand new academy building kitted out excellently along with two floodlight pitches, one being astro turf.

What about the relationships between the pro keepers - Do they get on well, considering the big competition there is for places between the sticks at Stoke?

We have three very good professional goalkeepers in Thomas Sorensen, Asmir Begovic and Carlo Nash. They all get on very well and are passionate about goalkeeping. They are competitive but very supportive of each other as everyone in the squad is.

Can you describe your role on match days?

Match days for me are about support. Making sure the two keepers get a good warm up, they feel comfortable with the ball the pitch and the conditions. I give some reminders about key aspects of the opposition and focus on the individual keeper's needs (mentally and tactically). Match days are more mental than physical.

Finally, we all hear about the atmosphere at Stoke City and its close knit local community, do you feel like a Potter now? And how does the support they get these days inspire the team and staff?

The Stoke fans have been fantastic and really are our 12th man. They get behind us every week and the players and staff appreciate the support they give us tremendously.


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