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A goalkeeper's lot

Posted on 13 March 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Jerzy Dudek's season sums up a goalkeeper's lot, according to our goalkeeping coach Hans Segers.

The Polish number one could do little wrong as Liverpool finished runners-up in the Premiership last season.

But he stuttered in Poland's disappointing World Cup campaign and then made high-profile mistakes at the start of this season, lost confidence and then his place to Chris Kirkland.

However, Dudek's luck turned after the unfortunate Kirkland picked up a knee injury - he's been outstanding since and recently snapped up the man-of-the-match award as the Reds lifted the Worthington Cup against Manchester United.

"It's a strange world, goalkeeping," said Hans, who experienced all the highs and lows himself in a 15-year playing career.

"One week you are playing out of your skin and the hero and the week after you can be the villain. That's goalkeeping.

"Dudek has been fortunate in one way that he got back in the team otherwise Kirkland would have been playing for the rest of the season, he was doing very well. But that's the way it goes.

"He had a bit of a nightmare at the start of the season, let a few goals in, cost them points in big, televised games and he was under a lot of pressure.

"He then had a bit of luck when Kirkland got injured and he's back in and he's been magnificent. That's the name of the game."

As Hans points out - it's all about confidence.

"The game is all about making decisions. If you are full of confidence your decision making is very good and very positive. If not, then you have doubts and doubts mean not taking the right decisions.

"At the moment, with winning the Worthington Cup and being voted man-of-the-match as well, it's such a big boost for him."