"Goalkeepers are different....Never before has the number one position been more influential or demanding. The postion requires a unique mix of mental strength, speed, concentration, bravery and technical ability - combined with hard work and dedication.To succeed in such a specialist postion requires sopecialist coaching."
Simon works for The Football Association as one of the National Goalkeeping Coaches working with England Teams between the ages of 16 – 21. Simon delivers both specialist goalkeeping coaching courses and specific goalkeeping sessions on UEFA coaching courses from UEFA ‘C’ to UEFA ‘A’ standard. Simon works with some of the best young goalkeepers in the country. He has also worked as Goalkeeping Coach to the England Ladies Football Team.
Simon started working at Newcastle United in 1993 as a Goalkeeping Coach, working with goalkeepers from the age of 8 –19. In the summer of 1999, Simon became First Team Goalkeeping Coach working under Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson. Simon was Sir Bobby Robson’s goalkeeping coach over a five year period from 1999 to 2004 coaching in The Premier League with goalkeepers Shay Given, Steve Harper, Lionel Perez, John Karelse and Tony Caig. During this period, Simon prepared and coached the senior goalkeepers for over 300 Premiership matches and 40 European games in the Inter Toto, UEFA Cup and Champions League.
Simon has also worked with professional goalkeepers at Sunderland A. F.C., Carlisle United F.C., Wigan Athletic, Hartlepool United F.C. and LA Galaxy.
After successfully completing a B.A.Sports Studies Degree in 1995, Simon set up his own goalkeeping coaching company - Simon Smith Goalkeeping. Simon Smith Goalkeeping is now in its fifteenth year with the main focus now being on producing and selling goalkeeping resources.
During the season 2002/2003, Simon was contacted by Paul Farbrace – at the time a National Coach for the ECB, to see if Simon would be interested in doing some work with England wicket keeper James Foster with regard to his movement – footwork, catching and diving techniques. Paul, a former goalkeeper and wicket himself with Gillingham F.C and Kent C.C.C respectively, realised the cross-over of techniques and skills between the two disciplines and contacted me as a specialist goalkeeping coach for help. Since then, Simon has conducted a wicket keeping /goalkeeping seminar for the Kent and Essex Coaches Associations, worked with England U19 team and more recently worked with England’s wicket keeper Geraint Jones. In 2004, Simon was invited by Kent C.C.C to coach Geraint Jones for three days before he left for the winter tour of South Africa and also worked with Kent players – Rob Ferley, Robert Key and James Tredwell. Simon has lecture and conducted practical sessions on the ECB Level 4 Wicket Keeping Module for the past four years, the first two sessions took place, with the permission of Sir Bobby Robson, at the Newcastle United training facility in Benton. The cricket coaches have watched Simon’s practical work with the senior goalkeepers – Shay Given, Steve Harper and Tony Caig. Simon has conducted seminars on talent identification, coaching theory and my role as a specialist coach within the club. In 2005 and 2006, Simon was asked to the National Cricket Academy at Loughborough University to lecture on the level Four Wicket Keeping Module, where he delivered a practical session on movement, catching and diving – skills and techniques.
In 2006, Simon was invited by the Canadian Soccer Association to work as a Goalkeeping Coach to the Men’s National team and Boys U18 team.
Simon Smith began his professional career with Newcastle United in 1978, spending four years there before moving on to Whitley Bay F.C and then Gateshead F.C in the GM Vauxhall Conference, where he played 501 games over a ten year period. Simon also signed as a non-contract player for Carlisle United F.C., Sunderland A.F.C. and Newcastle United F.C.