Introduction to our new goalkeeper coach, Daryl Matthews

Sam has moved quickly to secure the services of the highly thought of Daryl Matthews as first team goalkeeper coach for the 2024/25 season.

We caught up with Daryl last week to find out a little bit more about him.

“I played football from a young age, right through until the age of 32, when I retired, so around 12 years ago now. The highest level that I played at on a Saturday was in the Middlesex County League & I also played Sunday League football.

I was never actually a goalkeeper & the main reason is that I’m not a tall person (Ed: 5’7″), however, it is a position that I’ve always liked & I did play a few times at Sunday League level if we didn’t have keeper available.

I was predominantly a striker, CAM (nowadays known as a 10) or right midfielder.

At the beginning of this season, I decided that I’d start playing again on a Sunday at the ripe old age of 41, but it backfired on me & I ended up rupturing both of my achilles

Going forward, I decided to help out with the coaching & managing side of things in the end on a Sunday. This gave me the impetus to start my coaching courses with the FA & I joined Orpington FC as their Development Team Manager in December 2023.

The team had only won 1 out 7 league games & had lost all their cup games prior to my arrival. In the 7 games that I was in charge of, I turned it around & my record was 4 wins, 1 draw & 2 losses.

At the same time, I also contacted Croydon FC, who agreed that I could be a part of their U23’s Management Team & they played / trained on Wednesdays. Whilst working with Orpington FC, the opportunity arose to work with Corinthian Casuals FC 1st Team, as their goalkeeper coach, helping them out at training on a Tuesday / Thursday & match days on a Saturday where possible.

This was a short stint, as the opportunity to be a part of the Croydon FC 1st Team in the same role came about, so I relinquished the positions at Orpington FC & Corinthian Casuals FC.

We got to 2 cup finals & we won 1 of them but missed out on the playoffs in the league.

Being a goalkeeper or a goalkeeper coach is not as easy, as people would think because there are so many technical attributes to take on board & for goalkeepers, there’s a big mental aspect towards it too. I give my goalkeepers as much positive feedback as possible, as this is vital to them as a person, knowing they’re doing the right things, but it will also keep them in a great mindset going into games & this can only improve their all around game as a whole.

Keeping a goalkeeper positive throughout the season is vital & hopefully, you’ll see this on game days.

I’m a massive QPR fan & my dream came true on Tuesday, 6th May 2024, as I got to play at Loftus Road in a charity match for Prostate Cancer UK.”

Thanks Daryl and we all look forward to meeting you in person over the summer.