Drip drip water does fill bucket and goalkeeping coach of the Barbados Football Association’s senior men’s team Richard “Shaggy” Bynoe has set the bar high. But he says, one step at a time will get them to where they aim to be.
Prior to becoming a goalkeeping coach about eight years ago, he managed Paradise Football Club where he began his specialty coaching.
“There wasn’t anyone there at the time and I said to myself let me just start. After I left Paradise, I was invited to work with one of the goalkeeping coaches who worked with the national team years ago,” he said.
From there he went on to the Under-17 national team and moved around from the Under-17 girls to the senior women as needed.
“It has been a learning curve, especially with the female game. Physically they are not as strong, they don’t jump as high and their hands are much smaller. The boys, because of their growth they change in terms of their structure and their movements,” he said.
Describing his tenure with the current management team as “great”, Bynoe said he had learnt a lot and was still learning a lot.
In preparing the goalkeepers Bynoe implements situational play, work on their technique, simulate play from the back and make them aware of tactics, the head coach would employ, but most importantly adapts the sessions to suit the players.
“It is a lot of work. It is a little bit more taxing so when you see the finished product out there at the end of the day, it is all these long hours,” he said.
And with COVID-19 bringing everything to a standstill, Bynoe said being off the field for three to four months had caused them to start all over again similar to a pre-season.
“We have to go back through the basics and then build up all the way till whenever we play. So we’re working on handling, catching the ball, moving our feet, dealing with crosses, one on ones, and mainly tactical stuff. The boys are very receptive and that is a plus,” he said.
Kishmar “Pop Pop” Primus is currently ranked as Barbados’ number one goalkeeper. There is also Liam Brathwaite who is a promising goalkeeper, the return of former Barbados’ number one Dario Weir and now Nashton Browne has begun training with the senior men.
“They all have different personalities and all of them have different characteristics in terms of their body structure. All of them aren’t the same in terms of movement either, so you have to be able to work with all of that and adapt to the player while ensuring they accomplish what you set out to do,” he explained.
But in spite of the vast differences, however, Bynoe said the group worked well together and they encouraged each other.
“It might not be someone’s day at training, but they will say ‘Let’s try this’ or give a bit more encouragement. It isn’t a case of you having a bad day and no one will help you. They just work together even though they know only one is going to play, but collectively they help each other,” he said proudly.
He noted competition was high because players had to compete to play, Bynoe said he had developed a system to help him through.
“It starts from club level where you see the form, which is what gets you into the national team. Once you get into the national team, it is your consistency in sessions that keep you there and what you get picked on,” he said.
And while everyone wanted to become a professional and make it to the World Cup, Bynoe said for now aiming to reach the Gold Cup was a good bar to reach.
“I would like first to get to a major competition, not World Cup. World Cup may be possible with the next cycle in about eight years, to give the younger ones time to come through the ranks. Now it is one step at a time and about getting to the Gold Cup.
“Everybody wants to go professional, but then if you go to the Gold Cup you get more exposure. And if you’re 28 you might end up playing for Mexico or the MLS, but it is something. Everybody tries to hit the Premier League, but we have to get our ranking down first to accomplish going to the Premier League,” he said.