Sunday, November 19, 2006

Comments on Covic, version 2.0

After half-watching Perth/Newcastle last night, I decided that having Covic at Newcastle wouldn't be a bad thing. I'm all for player development, and I think Kennedy will gain more if Covic is around - even if Kennedy loses his place between the sticks. My change in opinion from being unsure about Covic to deciding I want him there does stem from trying to watch and listen to Kennedy yesterday.

I once played in a team where I was tired of defenders mucking about with the ball in the back-third. So the coach and I worked on teaching them to kick the ball out (eg. onto the sideline) if they were in trouble. I doubt these girls ever watched a football match in their life because they then ended up tapping the ball out in any situation. So I ended up talking throughout the entire match telling them things like "time" (even when your defending, you sometimes have time to do something else or a little more with the ball), "up the line" (heck, if you're going to give a throw in away, keep it as far from me as possible), or telling them how they could distribute the ball. That's the advantage of playing as the 'keeper - you can see the entire field of play.

Now, it's a not as easy to listen to matches (as in the team talking to each other) when you watch the match on the TV due to the commentators, compared to being at the match. Further, the task is made more difficult when Andy Harper is commentating. He just doesn't know when to shut-up. We've now resulted to using the mute button an awful lot. More on Harper/Cockerill some other day. But should Harper have lost his voice for a moment, and Newcastle were defending, you can here Kennedy shouting most of the time. "Out!" and "Kick it out!" are either particular favourites of his or that's what I ended up hearing. He shouts an awful lot this boy... if he made commentary along the lines of, "Player 1, mark up #2" or instructions to watch unmarked players, I couldn't hear it on the TV, probably due to Harper.

I'm hoping with the arrival of Covic, Kenners may learn how to talk to his team, rather than giving mindless "kick it out" shouts. And sure, he had a couple of mis-timed moments during the match, but they've started to occur less often than earlier in the season. There's no doubt the boy has improved, but I'd like to seem him become a better 'keeper, and I believe his communication needs improvement.

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