Academy GK Day

Day To Remember For Young Academy GKs

Budding young goalkeepers in the Leicester City Academy were given an unforgettable experience of meeting their heroes in Seagrave during half-term week.
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- Leicester City’s Academy goalkeepers enjoyed a day with the First Team ‘keepers last week
- Youngsters from Under-9s to Under-16s watched a training session in Seagrave
- Michele De Bernardin delivered a presentation and a Mads Hermansen Q&A formed part of the day
- He then watched their own training session along with Jakub Stolarczyk and Brad Young

‘Keepers from the Under-9s to Under-16s had the opportunity to view the First Team squad members in action during a morning session at LCFC Training Ground, watching on as the shot-stoppers were put through their paces.

A welcome and words of advice from First Team GK Coach Michele De Bernardin out on the grass was followed by a presentation and, having taken those words on board, the youngsters were able to pose questions to Mads Hermansen, who has been an influential figure between the sticks for Enzo Maresca’s side in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

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Academy GK Day
Academy GK Day

Jakub Stolarczyk, who recently helped City into the Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Finals, and Development Squad ‘keeper Brad Young, were then invited alongside Hermansen to watch the younger age groups during a training session of their own in the indoor dome that afternoon.

Stolarczyk, having himself trodden the path from Academy to Under-21s and then First Team, referenced the importance of inspiring the next generation of goalkeepers, citing his own first-hand experience.

“It was nice,” he commented. “It’s been great for the Academy to have the young boys watching us and asking a few questions. We had conversations and they just want to enjoy football – I think that’s the most important thing at that age.

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Mads Hermansen
Mads Hermansen

“Spending a bit of time with them is something they’ll probably always remember and it’ll stick with them for a long time. I know what a special day it might be for them. I remember myself being 16 coming through the Academy and getting to watch the First Team ‘keeper sessions.

“Sometimes I was nervous training with them, but it was a great experience and I enjoyed it! I’m proof that it is possible to get to the First Team level here.

“All of us – me, Mads and Brad – tried to give as much time as we could. It brought back good memories. I hope they can look at me as a role model and see that anything is possible.”

Academy Goalkeeping Coach Glyn Thompson, who has helped to train the likes of Stolarczyk and Young during their time at the Club, spoke about the benefits of organising such an event for the youngsters’ future development.

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Michele De Bernardin
Michele De Bernardin

“We just wanted the younger goalkeepers to be around the First Team ‘keepers to see how they work, the environment and the intensity they work at,” the coach said. “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to see the standard that they have to emulate in the next few years.

“We’re really fortunate working here every day that the boys see it and they know they are coming into an elite environment. It’s a top-class facility and the links that we’ve got with the First Team mean we can go over there. Michele has been brilliant.”

The impact of being able to interact with their role models can provide extra motivation to one day be in the same position, he believes.

Thompson added: “It’ll give them that extra spark to see where they want to be in the future and see that it’s achievable, especially when we’ve got Jakub who’s been around the Club since a young age. They will hopefully get there one day.”

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