John Keeley recognises that goalkeeping is an evolving art these days.

The former Albion No.1 understands the increasing demands to be the 11th outfield player, as expressed most notably by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and previous clubs.

But the basis is still keeping the ball out of the net.

Which is why he is keen to pass on the fundamentals to emerging goalkeepers from the age of 11 upwards.

Keeley, enjoying a second spell as goalkeeping coach at Portsmouth, wants to pass on his years of experiences to youngsters in Sussex.

He is planning to open a goalkeeping school in Worthing with the accent on one-on-one tuition and thorough work on key topics.

Keeley doesn’t want 20 goalkeepers in a group or to cover three or four aspects of the job in one hour.

His vision is one of carefully focused work and personal attention.

He believes his contacts in the professional game can open up paths for those who show real promise.

And the emphasis will be on getting the fundamentals spot on from as young an age as he can.

Keeley told The Argus: “I’ve coached for 18 years at professional level. I love coaching, It is something that has really hit the spot.

“I’ve worked with a lot of good goalkeepers in my time at Portsmouth and Blackburn.

“I’ve got a lot of experience coaching with kids as well, bringing kids through into the professional game.

“Goalkeepers now have to be able to play with their feet and that will be part of a coaching session.

“Passing out from the back would be one session.

“But the most important thing – and what people are forgetting – is you have to make the saves. You have to be a goalkeeper.

“It’s good for them to have technical skills but first and foremost at that age you have to keep the ball out of the net.

The Argus:

“Look at Manuel Neuer (pictured). When he started out, he wasn’t that good with his feet but, with practice, he got a lot better.

“The foundation is to be a goalkeeper and to keep the ball out.”

Keeley has worked with goalkeepers including David James, Jamie Ashdown and Paul Robinson.

But he has also enjoyed sessions with keepers of schoolboy age and believes that is a key time to get the basics right.

He said: “The younger they start, the more coaching you can get into kids and the easier it becomes for them as they get older.

“Nine or ten is a great age to start and learn the technical skills.

“Goalkeeping is one of those things where, when you are coaching, it takes a lot of concentration from the kids to take it all in.

“The way I work is small groups and one subject per session.

“Some schools throw a lot of different things in but the kids don’t really take it in “Little Jonny goes home and his dad asks ‘What did you learn today son?’ and he says ‘We did a few things, I can’t really remember’. He is not really learning.

“With me it is one thing per session. It might be stepping into the ball when you make a save.

“Every time they make a save they have got to step into the ball. We do that for the whole session.

“When he goes home and Dad asks him how it went, he knows exactly what he has learnt and why.

The Argus:

John Keeley in his days as Albion No.1 at the Goldstone

“I would have five for each group and the reason I want it like that is I want to give them one-on-one coaching.

“It will be a bit more expensive than what the normal coach charges but they will get quality at the session and that is what counts.

“If you have got 20 boys, you can’t coach 20 boys in an hour.”

He added: “I want to see people make it professional.

“With me knowing a lot of people, I will be linked into other clubs.

“If I see a kid who I think is really good I can take him into Pompey.

“Or I can ring Ben Roberts at the Albion and say, ‘You have got to have a look at this lad’. Those are the things I am looking at.

“It’s something I’m really excited about.

“The motivation is that I really enjoy coaching. I have been doing it a long time, 18 years in the professional level.

“I get a buzz out of seeing people improve.

“I’d probably go under-11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and 15s, five goalkeepers for each hour.

“I want to do a test month first to see how it goes at Durrington.

“We can hire out the astroturf courts and I’ll be interested to see what numbers I got.”

John Keeley would like to hear from anyone interested in a taster course for his planned goalkeeping school. The course will take place at Worthing Leisure Centre some time after Christmas. Email