Everton and Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic encourages youngsters to sign up to his academy at Burnley College
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The Bosnia and Herzegovina international contacted the Express to raise the profile of his Asmir Begovic Goalkeeper Academy and encourage more youngsters to sign up for the coaching sessions being held at Burnley College.
Begovic, who has had stints between the sticks at Stoke City, Bournemouth and Chelsea in a long and successful career, said he wanted to give something back to young people and set up his academies with one eye on his retirement.
The Burnley academy, which started in January, is the latest the keeper has set up alongside ones in Surrey, Cheshire, Germany and his homeland in Bosnia.
He said: “The Burnley academy has been going great so far but I want to see even more youngsters come along and benefit from some top class coaching.
"Dom Cheetham, who has worked with Burnley Ladies and Macclesfield Town, is the main coach and is doing a fantastic job. I got in touch with him through a mutual contact.
"It’s very difficult to coach yourself as a goalkeeper. I was lucky growing up in that my father was a professional goalkeeper so I had some excellent coaching from him, but not all youngsters are so lucky. Being a goalkeeper is a very specialised position requiring unique training, which is why I wanted to set up my academies.
"I think keepers have been overlooked when it comes to specific training at a younger age level.”
The academies are open to boys and girls aged six to 16 and are held every Friday at Burnley College.
Asmir added: “I was lucky enough to live my dream and have a great career, now I want to give youngsters that chance too and set the next generation on their journey. I’ve been to the sessions at Burnley a few times when my schedule allows.
"It’s a beautiful thing to see young talent blossoming. Football scouts sometimes come to the sessions, too, so there’s always a chance youngsters can go on trial at top clubs.”
For more information visit asmir1.com/academy-burnley