Keeper coach Simon Tracey on his role with Carlisle United
We caught up with new keeper coach Simon Tracey as he got ready to get his teeth into the first few sessions of pre-season last week.
“Keith gave me a call last week to find out what I’d been doing,” he said. “He asked if I’d be interested in coming up here on a part-time basis. We met up and had a couple of good conversations, and here I am.
“I’m very happy with the move. I’ve wanted to get back in to keeper coaching so I’m looking forward to being part of what’s happening up here. Coaching is something I enjoy. When I finished playing football I went to Mansfield with Keith, as a coach, I enjoyed that.
“I’ve also worked in the same role at Rotherham and Barnsley. I enjoyed my time with all of those clubs and I’ve been lucky enough to do a few other bits and pieces as well. The fact I know Keith made it an easier decision to make. I’m not sure I’d have come this far north if I didn’t know him and trust what he had to say.
“He knows how I work, and what I can do, and I’m looking forward to adding to what he already has in place here. I first came across him when he came to Sheffield as a player late in his career. At some stages I think he actually played deeper than me!
“He was there when I went on loan to Manchester City and we stayed in touch over the years. He gave me a call when he got the manager’s job at Mansfield and we enjoyed working with each other through that. He’s a winner and I like that. It’s what the game is about.”
“The things the manager said definitely played a part in me coming here,” he confirmed. “He talked about the two keepers we have being young, enthusiastic and very hard working. I’ve been told they have a great attitude, so I’m looking forward to working with them.
“He also told me he feels the club is moving forward and it’s hopefully going to be a good place to be. The fact that it’s part time doesn’t matter to me at all. It fits with the work I’m doing with the FA and it suits everyone, so I just want to get my teeth into it now.
“I think it’s a good time for it to happen as well. We are straight into pre-season and that means I’ll be able to work with Mark [Gillespie] and Dan [Hanford] right away, and get to know them. I’ve already watched a few video clips of what they do and they definitely have good attributes to build on. It’s all down to the work they want to put into it as to how far they can now go.
“I’ll be straight at it from the word go but I won’t ask my keepers to do anything I wouldn’t do. I’ll make it enjoyable and I want to fill them with confidence. I want them to come out of every session feeling good about themselves. There’s no better feeling than being out on the training pitch so it’s good that I’ll be doing that again with them.”
“I think my experience as a player is something I can bring to help our keepers with,” he said. “I’ve experienced football in the top flight, which was a real highlight, and I’ve also been at the other end of it all. The promotion into the top flight with Sheffield United, when we won at Leicester, was fantastic. We took 10,000 fans to the game and they made it like a home game for us.
“I made my debut at Wembley with Wimbledon and that’s something to remember. I’ve worked under numerous managers and I played for a long period at a great club. I think I’ve had a decent career and there are experiences I can pass on from it.”
“Carlisle United isn’t a club I know too much about,” he admitted. “I’ve never really been further north than Scotch Corner before and I’ve never played up here, so it’s a new experience.
“I’ve had a walk round the place and you can see there are changes going on. The playing surface looks fantastic and there’s nothing to grumble about with the facilities. It’s a club heading in the right direction and it’ll be good to be part of it.”
Speaking about his new addition to the coaching staff, manager Keith Curle said: “It’s been labelled as part time and the time schedule for the keepers will be slightly different to what we do with the players.
“It will be designed by Simon so they get five or six purely keeping sessions with him every week. They’ll have double sessions and it will all be geared towards a good performance on game day.
“There’s nothing budget related in the way we are doing this at all. It’s me condensing the time frame of the direct coaching the keepers will get because there are other occasions when they will be part of my sessions. A keeper coach isn’t needed in the building for that, so this was an opportunity for me to look at the way we’ve doing it.
“Simon is extremely professional and as I said the other day, he is a really good addition to the coaching staff area of the club. He has high standards and he makes his sessions enjoyable. He’ll fill our keepers with confidence and I think they will learn and develop a lot under his guidance.”
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