Former Charlton Athletic and Cambridge United goalkeeper Martin Brennan started Developing Goalkeeping UK (DGUK) aiming to develop goalkeepers at all levels of the game in the United Kingdom. This year, Martin is bringing DGUK across the Atlantic to the United States! DGUK is hosting a camp in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they are looking to expand their offerings to other areas of the US in the future. Go to developinggoalkeepinguk.com to sign up!
KeeperSpace: How would you describe your youth career in the UK?
Martin Brennan: I had a great start to my youth career signing for Leyton orient at 10 years of age then getting signed by Tottenham at under 13. I spent 5 years at Tottenham from 13 to 17 which really gave me a great grounding to move forward into the pro game. I had a lot of positive people around me there and really helped me understand the goalkeeping position and add knowledge to my game.
KeeperSpace: What would you say the differences are in the English football youth system vs. the American soccer youth system?
Martin Brennan: I would say that the massive difference between the two is that In England this is our main sport for kids and in America you have 2 or 3 massive sports in soccer/basketball/baseball etc. Football is part of most English families here and the support of a football club would generally go through generations of family members. Its a way of life for the English youngsters and as I said with American youngsters that have a few more choices on what massive sports they want to get into.
KeeperSpace: What was the most memorable thing that happened to you during your professional career?
Martin Brennan: For me this was making my football league debut for Cambridge United in League 2 when I was 20. We played at home versus Hartlepool FC with a crowd of around 5000 people and I could not of been any more nervous but loved every minute of it. Its every boys dream in England to become a professional footballer and even though I had signed as a pro about 3 years previous to that, making your pro debut just tops it off.
KeeperSpace: In 2016, you founded DGUK. What sets DGUK apart from other goalkeeping schools?
Martin Brennan: DGUK is a goalkeeper coaching company that I always wanted to create and 2016 I took that step. DGUK offer all types of camps for all levels of goalkeepers from grassroots starting out through to professional keepers looking to get fit for the new season ahead.
DGUK takes great pride in coaching and developing goalkeepers game by actually coaching them. Every camp we deliver DGUK will improve your game 25%-50% more so thats a massive difference to anyone else. The other main thing is DGUK is myself Martin Brennan of which I lead and coach everything DGUK offers. So I don’t imply someone else or franchise and get a beginner coach who will be asking for experience prices. Any keeper that attends a DGUK event will say that its extremely well organised and will aim to challenge every goalkeeping to develop and add knowledge to your game.
KeeperSpace: Do you plan on hosting more camps in the US?
Martin Brennan: Yes. I love coming to America and working with goalkeepers who simply want to improve and become more effective goalkeepers. The plan will be to come twice a year and I'm currently looking for another part of America to go to and deliver a camp. My long term plan is to also bring goalkeepers from America to England to experience the Premier League.
KeeperSpace: If you could give a piece of advice to a young player looking to continue their career past high school or college, what would it be?
Martin Brennan: My advise would be to work as hard as you can all all aspects of your game and not just the things you feel good at. Have a 1 year and 3 year plan in place so you know why you're working hard and you can also judge how close you are getting to your targets. Watch other keepers and take the best parts of theie game and put them into your own game.