Our First Post
First of all we’d just like to say a massive THANK YOU for following our page and giving us such a huge platform. The responses by our followers has been unbelievable so far. We’ve had messages from people all over the world who have improved their own goalkeeping just by watching our videos! Others who have got back into goalkeeping. The support has been brilliant, one guy sent us a picture of The Modern Day GK logo tattooed behind his ear (we aren’t encouraging that haha)! It’s just class to get messages from people who are really appreciative of the content and what we are trying to do.
We are hoping to use this to help people appreciate and understand goalkeepers more than they ever have! It still feels like the start even though we’ve just hit over 100k followers, I think it’s because we have so many ideas.
Meet the Robinson’s
Hello everyone, this is the first time we’ve introduced ourselves officially to our followers. We’re a footballing mad family from Sunderland in the North East of England. The 3 of us who run the page are brothers and all offer something different to the page or at least try. We want to use these blogs as a way for you to learn more about us, so the first is focussing on who we are and also why/ how we started The Modern Day GK.
Here we are from oldest to youngest:
Lee is our goalkeeper technician. He’s the star of the show. A current professional footballer who’s the Goalkeeper in the majority of our videos. Lee has a wealth of experience in the professional game, and is keen to share it. He has a unique playing style. Great athlete, great with the ball at his feet and a naturally gifted goalkeeper. Those aren’t our words, those are the words from Professionals in his field. His style isn’t seen as “text book”, but surely goalkeeping was around before this “goalkeeper textbook” had been written?
Shaun, another goalkeeper technician and analyst. Great eye for detail, spots everything, analyses the videos and is the rational head behind the team, has some of the best hands you’ll see too!
Mark, that’s me. I’m the strength and conditioning coach/ server and post expander, whenever you see a long description of the video, I’m the one who wrote it.
We’ve just drafted in our big bro, Paul, one of the maddest characters you’ll meet. He’s been brought in to help with the media side of things and also for his banter!
Why we’ve started this page: The 11th Outfielder
Our philosophy is to play positively. Lee is The Modern Day GK and has been for a long time before his professional career.
If you introduce something into someone’s life early enough, they will always do it, because its the normality. Starting at primary school, he was playing for the year 6 school team when he was only in year 3! He used to love coming for crosses even at that age. He always remembers his Teacher warming him up by whipping crosses in before games and collecting them on the Penner spot. Crossing is something Lee prides himself on to this day because it was the norm as a kid.
As well as first choice goalkeeper, he was also first choice striker for school. If the team were getting beat and they needed to get a few goals back, they’d throw him up top. But those outfield characteristics have played a part in his style of play today, just as well as the norm of coming for crosses. These qualities are starting to be appreciated in top flight football today, look at Pep Guardiola’s philosophy!
Whilst at Rangers, the doc declared Lee as a the best athlete he had seen in his many years at at the club. One Rangers legend described him as the most naturally gifted goalkeeper he had seen, while another said he’s the best goalkeeper with the ball at his feet he had seen! But as long as you keep following the blogs, you’ll find out that sometimes those things still aren’t enough.
This is a big reason for starting the page, we want to try and guide players, we want to encourage more goalkeepers to play with positivity. This will make goalkeepers much more enjoyable to watch!
Now you’ve officially met us and hopefully haven’t lost interest reading the blog, here’s how we started..
How We Started: Breakfast Club
9am. April 13th, 2016:
Our family love a breakfast! You used to find us on a Wednesday morning down at the seafront in Seaburn having our weekly family breakfast at Martino’s for quid (£1) coffees and 4 quid (£4) breakfasts (It’s changed venue now though as we’ve found a better breakfast closer to home).
We never thought that coming back from breakfast that Wednesday morning nearly 2 years later we’d have over 100,000 followers, top goalkeepers from around the world enjoying watching our videos and some top young keepers wanting to work with us! It was our target though, in the long run.
On the way home from breakfast, the 3 of us spoke about everything goalkeeping. A couple of topics were the style of coaching sessions Lee had received through his professional career. Monotonous training, where some days he never dropped a ball, he said “what are you learning from that?” Are you actually being prepared for a game situations by getting volleys into your hands? Are you actually getting better? Have I worked on my weaknesses?”.
Another topic, which is a big problem in football, was how many young goalies pack in football after being released at 15/16. How can you judge if someone is good enough at that age when they’ve not even grown into their body yet! Some goalkeepers aren’t expected to play first team football until they are around the age of 24/25! That’s a good 9-10 years worth of developing still to come. Who are these people who cast the judgment on these young lads? Lee was released from Sunderland at 13 due to his height, but height has never hindered his performance. Clubs wouldn’t even take him on trial because he was under 6 foot. I think people forget that you are allowed to jump as a goalkeeper, also you have your arms that can go over your head which automatically increases your reach. There is a stigma attached to goalkeepers under 6 foot, fair enough if they can’t jump… and use their arms.
We really want to change people’s opinions on goalkeepers. To understand the position better but also what they go through! It’s easily the most scrutinised position with the least amount of protection from pundits/fans/managers/outfield players/the papers. It can be the loneliest position on the pitch. You could save 10 goal bound chances in a game and make one mistake for a goal and you’re a villain. You could kick one ball out of the park and your distribution is crap. Outfield players can miss chances, mis-control the ball, lose possession on more than one occasion but they won’t be scrutinised as much as a goalkeeper.
Everyone thinks they know what a keeper should have done, “Should have saved that, should have come for that, could have caught it, keepers ball!” how can you tell from the view you have and also your experience as a goalkeeper what a goalkeeper should have done? Careers can be ruined by what these people say about goalkeepers. People will form an opinion on what they read, they’re influenced massively by what others say. How many times have you seen a goalkeeper have a reputation for doing something, but has improved his game, yet people still say he’s an accident waiting to happen no matter how many games they play well. There is a chance that in the future, a mistake will be made, and people will jump back on them with “I told you so”.
Neymar flick and side volley; “Missed it”
April the 13th 2016. Our very first video was at Herrington CW, a local colliery welfare where we all had grown up playing for Sunderland Boys at different eras.
11.30am. April 13th, 2016:
Our very first video was at Herrington CW, a local colliery welfare where we all had grown up playing for Sunderland Boys at different eras.
On the way home from breakfast, we talked about doing the videos with this daft old man mask that we’ve got at home, we wanted something to grab peoples attention. We liked the idea of people not knowing who the goalkeeper was so they could take it on face value. If it was David De Gea doing the drills then people would think they are amazing, because it’s David De Gea. If it was a gk you might not have heard of, people would say, he can’t be that good, because he’s not playing at a top level.
12.30pm. April 13th, 2016:
Soon as we got home, kits were on, we bombed along to Herrington, parked up, got the yellow and red Nike Ordems out and went onto the back of the pitch. Absolutely chucking it down! We couldn’t even get on the main pitch as the caretaker was there. We had to settle for the area with the most grass which was behind the top goal of the worst pitch.
The idea was to just record a few long balls before we started training. Also, Lee loves a Neymar flick almost as much as he loves Side volleying! So a perfect idea was putting them together.
We were all set. Shaun was on the old IPhone 6S, I had this lovely illuminous yellow Nike top with the intention of pinging it to Lee. Lee, in his beloved Barcelona training top he’d never have off all week, famous snood/Woolley hat combo along with his trademark white boots and his black Uhlsport Retro Star gloves on.
I swear down, this was our very first attempt at the video and we got it first time.
Me: Long ball
Lee: Couple of steps backwards towards the camera for better effect. Trusty Neymar Flick. Few little keepie ups
Shaun: “Missed it “
Lee: sets himself up, then pings the arrow side volley straight towards me
Me: ohhh no! I hope I don’t drop it! Phewwww. Controlled it. Done.
I could have killed Shaun as I thought he actually missed it! I wasn’t worried about Lee being able to do the flick or side volley back, it was more me getting the ball straight to him again and even if I did, it was the worry of me controlling the ball haha. But, no need to worry as Shaun captured the moment! It was on Instagram before it had even left Lee’s boot! We were using any hashtag we could think of for max exposure, we didn’t even know how it worked really!
What we definitely didn’t know was how viral the video would actually go! It must have accumulated over 50 million views across different platforms. It was like a chain reaction, it was shared by a page with around 50k followers, then to another with 150k, then to 250, 500, 1 million, 8 million and then to a page with 12 million followers! Follows/ Likes/Messages/Comments were flying in from all over the place. I always remember my phone dying in work due to the notifications.
As the followers increased, we knew we had a perfect starting point for our goalkeeper drills. A bigger audience. It was time to start planning more content!
Team Meetings: Costa
Every team needs a meeting spot. Even if we did live extremely close to each other. Costa was our regular spot in Seaham, we only went there because Lee loved his flat whites, in a large cup, with extra milk and marshmallow chocolate tea cakes. We used it as a place to come up with ideas for content. We must of had a few thousand followers in our first few weeks.
Once we’d finished the main stuff, we planned for the future. I’ve still got the scrap book we used to jot things down. We talked about what we could offer goalkeepers, here were a few things we put down:
- Better standard/individualised training
- Opportunities to get back into the pro game with the contacts we have
- Improve distribution
- Individualised strength and conditioning
Also the psychological side of the game. We aren’t sports psychologists but Lee has experienced a lot in football in his 15 years of playing so he knows exactly what will go on during a young goalkeepers career. It’s about preparing them for things to come
However, the meeting point soon changed as the tea cakes went into early extinction.
We’ve done some really exciting things so far and we’re hopeful it’s only the start.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this blog, and this will be the first of many tackling different topics each time. We really want to help people develop an understanding and also to see goalkeeping in a different light.
Please feel free to let us know what you thought of the blog!
(you can send us a message on the form below)
Thanks for reading and following.
The Modern Day Gk Team