Scott Loach's coaching plans in safe hands — Barnet goalkeeper to launch 'keeper school in Southwell
A goalkeeper who has shared the field with Manuel Neuer and featured in England squads alongside Joe Hart is giving back to the club where his career started.
Scott Loach, 32, who plays in the National League for Barnet, is launching a goalkeeping school in Southwell.
A former Southwell City youth player, Loach said giving back to his hometown club where his career kicked off would be a special experience.
While hopeful of playing for at least another five years, he said he had fallen in love with coaching during lockdown and wanted to prepare for life outside of the starting 11 by helping the next generation of ‘keepers.
“I had always done bits and pieces on the side, but having worked with people at Barnet I have really got the buzz for coaching,” said Loach, who dislocated his elbow playing for the Bees at the weekend.
“It is to the point where now, if you were to ask if I enjoyed coaching or playing more, the buzz is the same. When a kid makes a great save or pulls off something that you have been working on, it is an unbelievable feeling — honestly I can’t describe it.”
Loach said setting up his school had been touch and go due to lockdown, but as the country’s vaccination plan continues to take off, he said he was ready for an official launch.
“I have been blessed to work with some top goalkeepers and coaches during my time in the game, and now I want to give a little bit back to my local club,” said Loach.
“The one-to-one sessions will, without blowing my own trumpet, offer insight from a professional perspective — and it is always good to get that personal connection with who you are working with as well.
“There are a lot of age groups across Southwell now.
“Boy and girls together, there’s about 30 teams from six year old's up to the adults, and I want to bring the goalies together and give them coaching they wouldn’t otherwise get.
“Southwell gave me a platform when I was kid, so it is only right.”
Loach’s journey into the professional game was not that of a usual academy graduate. He said he fell out of love with football as a year eight student and instead wanted to ‘just be a teenager’ during his school years.
Loach eventually returned to the game in year ten, when a friend in the year above asked him to join his team.
“It all started through a guy called Dan Weiss,” Loach said. “He came up to me at school one day and said his team really needed a ‘keeper.
“That proved to be the best thing I ever did. I started playing well and then I got in at Lincoln City.
“It all went from there having just played at Southwell.”
Loach, who spent hours as a young lad playing on the War Memorial Park in Southwell, went on to make more than 150 appearances for Watford and, at the peak of his career, featured in the England senior squad.
He said training alongside the likes Ben Foster, Joe Hart and Tomasz Kuszczak were eye-opening experiences.
“I have been in the England squad and worked with Ray Clemence, a legend of the game, and I have had the flip side of that through Fabio Capello, so I have seen goalkeeping from so many different angles,” he said.
“I have played against the likes of Petr Čech and Manuel Neuer, so I have seen how they warm up and what they’re like on the pitch.
“There are obviously some parts of goalkeeping that I like, which suit me, and then there are bits that I don’t, but this is all stuff that can help the kids develop.”
The school will launch on May 12 at the War Memorial Park, Southwell.
The first session, which is free, is open to goalkeepers aged six and over and will run from 5pm to 8pm.
Loach said: “The groups won’t be huge and I will be there to work with them. I am not keen on setting up a goalkeeping school with my name on it so I can earn money, that’s not what I am about.
“It is important for the kids to go away from the session feeling like they have been worked.
“There is nothing worse than making a save and then going to the back of a queue to wait another five minutes before making another one. “
To book your spot or for more information, contact Loach at email@example.com
You can also check out Loach’s latest goalkeeping tips by visiting his Instagram page ‘scottloachgk’.