The Players Podcast – Goalkeeping with Carly Telford and Siobhan Chamberlain

In the latest episode of The Players podcast, which is produced in collaboration between Copa 90 and the BBC, they hand over the mics to Carly Telford and Siobhan Chamberlain. The pair open up on a range of topics many outside of the goalkeeping union aren’t aware of or have never ever considered.

Women’s football has its fair share of trolls and detractors on social media and one of the sticks they try to use to beat women’s football is the standard of the goalkeeping.

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that there are occasions when keepers within the Women’s Super League and down the pyramid will have come away from conceding and felt like they could have done more, however, there is a multitude of reasons that affect the level of goalkeeping in women’s football, much of them around the level of coaching and attention that has been given to this specialist role. 

``I didn't have a full-time goalkeeping coach probably until the last four or five years of my career.`` Siobhan Chamberlain

Chelsea’s Carly Telford and former Manchester United and Liverpool keeper Siobhan Chamberlain have over seventy England caps between them and have both been on the receiving end of criticism in the past. Many of those critics are unaware of the situation female goalkeepers have found themselves in over the last fifty years. In this insightful episode, they share their stories of struggle to receive the required support and coaching that you’d expected at the highest level of the women’s game.

Telford describes, “Not only are we fifty years behind [men’s football] – and that is everyone as a collective in female football – we are 10 to 15 years behind outfield players as goalkeepers.” She goes on to say that prior to the 2015 World Cup, her goalkeeper coach at Notts County was 75 years old. “He could not kick the ball off the ground, he could only volley it. That was my level of coaching two days a week before I played on a Sunday and for three seasons.”

Chamberlain said, “I didn’t have a full-time goalkeeping coach probably until the last four or five years of my career. The girls that are coming through now that are 18 or 19 have probably already had the exact same amount of coaching I had in my whole career.

Photos: and @CarlyTelford1 and @Sio_Chamberlain

“It is going to take time to catch up but you can see with the young players coming through now that there are so many talented goalkeepers because they’ve had quality coaching since they were six, seven or eight years old.”

This is evident through the performances of the younger goalkeepers within the Women’s Super League. I’m referring to the likes of Hannah Hampton, Ellie Roebuck, Grace Moloney and of course Sandy MacIver just to name a few.

That is just a snapshot of what you can expect in the episode and I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you. The episode is available via BBC Sounds or via your chosen podcast provider.