Thursday, 18 October 2018

Rose Thomas using Brabo LHP

An interesting kit sighting to make note of (especially if you're a goalie nerd like myself...) is Holcombe's Welsh international goalkeeper Rose Thomas switching LHP's from Obo to Brabo.

Obviously Chris Borsoi is the only national league goalkeeper (to note) to be using Brabo in the English leagues right now, wearing all the foam, but internationally, there have been a few goalkeepers changing LHP's over to Brabo, especially given the "word on the street" (I don't know the goalie equivalent, sorry...) that the Brabo LHP has the best rebound available.

Thus, highly skilled goalkeepers like those representing their nations competitively, and playing at the highest level in the country, are switching over to Brabo for left hand save making. George Ratcliffe did for a while before switching back, and it seems that other goalkeepers are taking notice, with the trend continuining.

It would seem that favouring the best range of rebound available follows trends in elite technique wherein getting the biggest clearance possible on the initial save means that the goalkeeper buys themselves time to recover and set for the second phase rather than flopping around from a prone position. The bigger the clearance, the more chance the goalkeeper gives themselves for making the next save.

As Obo gloves are designed more primarily for rebound control i.e. playing the ball down to the floor and looking to clear with the feet, the square design gives the largest surface area for getting behind a shot i.e. even making a glancing save to tip the ball away like a 'fingertip' style save, whilst the rebound helps prioritise clearing the ball on the save and then getting back in the game for the second phase.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Kit sightings: TRC in Obo "moon boots"

HWHC's Toby Reynold-Cotteril is currently using the new, square angled Obo kickers colloquially refered to as 'moon boots ' right . Maddie Hinch is , but there are few 'keepers currently using them...

A lot like the TK G+1 kickers that had reinforced layers of foam, as well as the distinct 'squared' line kicker, Obo's newest design incorporates the flattened inside edge for each kicker, rather a generic kicker that can be used for either foot (goalkeepers often swap their kickers over mid-season to get more longevity/use out of them from regular training use).

The squared off kicker itself means that kicking is easier, as adjustments are easier due to the angle already being there (turning the hip/ankle is easier to adjust when driving through and resetting as you pre-scan), as well as making rebound control slightly easier and more defined when saving in-close like at corners.

In game use, the kicker seemed to come in useful with TRC's stand-up approach to short corner defence, with the inforced angle saving him a couple of times as he dragged the feet back to cover the gap between his legs, with the kicker helping adjust the angle, so the ball slowed sideways instead of going in for an embarrassing redirect. And other than that, aided with his strong save-clears with his feet when covering the right side of goal from his upright position.

I think the 'moonboots' will definitely give Toby an edge this season (it's really good to see he is constantly looking to evolve as a goalkeeper, which only highlights a great future) and will grow in popularity as more elite goalkeepers use them.

Kit chat: TRC's abdomen padding

Having been at the HWHC vs Wimbledon game in person, it was possible to make a few observant goalie-nerd sightings.

TRC is currently wearing an old Obo chest pad extension as abdomen padding, to reinforce the gap between chest pad and shorts. Not all shorts/girdles available have actual padding in place between the hips, leaving a bit of a vulnerable gap due to the size of most jocks.

A simple solution is making use of an ice hockey goalie jock that has more reinforced padding for the groin, but other goalkeepers, like TRC and George Pinner, prefer the additional loose padding of a chest pad overlaid over the shorts.

TRC is using the purple Obo chest pad (which was one of Obo's original padded chest designs - also a chest pad that Alex Chapman wore in goal for Oxted 1's about 9 years ago now!).

The chest pad was layered and connected by a strapping system - and it would appear Toby is using the lowest layer somehow strapped or sewn in to the current Obo chest pad (which is probably one of the best out there - I don't understand why companies aren't using plastic inserts for shorts as well, foam is redundant for protection...).

A lot like George Pinner's TK modified body armour set, using the old TX G1 abdomen protector that was a loose piece attached to the main chest pad, TRC is using ingenuity to give him extra protection, presumably not wanting to take any risks playing with the highest level of shots, in the Premier league.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Oscar to Old Georgians

With Old Georgians without their England international (having also been to the Azlan Shah as reserve goalkeeper), they too were obviously going to need to reinforce their goalkeeping department. In comes Oscar Jensen, who works with Fortitude and has been at Surbiton as a junior for a while and clearly making a name for himself, joining the national league side. I don't know if Old Georgians will be adding further to their 30 man squad with goalkeepers, so it will be interesting to see how things develop and if Oscar gets a shot at such high level hockey at such a young age.

Wyver to Reading

With Tommy moving to Germany to focus on his international hockey and focusing on his hockey with a more professional focus, Reading were obviously going to be without a starting goalkeeper. So in comes Chris Wyver, who was at Reading as a reserve goalkeeper for a season before joining Old Georgians. The former England U21's goalkeeper rejoins, this time as first choice, building off his experiences internationally and building his development with Old Georgians in the national conference league. It will be interesting to see how he performs and Reading cope without their star goalie...

Saturday, 22 September 2018

3-way battle for HWHC no.1 spot?

With HWHC signing Toby Reynolds-Cotteril after his graduation from Lufbra, and already having a goalkeeper battle for the starting spot last year (although the 'word on the wire' is that Jamie Legg didn't play until the second half of the season due to family commitments), it looks like there's a 3-way battle for the starting position at the London Premier league club.

Recent action pics of pre-season games has shown 3 goalkeepers being given a chance to impress and stake their claim in the battle for the #numberonespot and in their last games, it seems that George and Toby have split the game time with each playing a half.

Toby is recognisable from his old school Obo arm pads and Reebok stick, but I can't identify the goalie in TK!

It will be interesting to see how the situation resolves itself and plays out over the course of the season (which starts tomorrow!). Definitely one to watch!

Rea joins Mercian and Fortitude coaching

With Monarch becoming defunct/not functioning as a seller right now, there were obviously going to be goalkeepers under their sponsorship looking for new sponsors to help retain the effeciency/level of rebound in their foam and protection (obviously degrading over seasons of use), so it's not much of a surprise that Southgate and USA's Chris Rea has made the decision to switch sponsors to Mercian.

Rea joining the Mercian team was pretty obvious, given he was wearing their kit in his recent Y1 marketing video, but pictures (haven't been to any of his games to confirm it) validate that.

Mercian have been working hard seemingly to bolster their ranks of goalkeepers using their kit in the UK and worldwide, with Australia's Tyler Lovell making use of them in his international and club hockey appearances, whilst they have also a whole bunch of other goalkeepers joining them, like Amy Tennant and Chris Bristow to name a few..

Rea also joins the ever-growing Fortitude coaching team, with an official announcement through their socials.