In the first part of a three part series looking into the hard work and interesting stories behind the scenes of some of the best goalkeeping coaches across the A-League and national teams, Kick360 spoke with Western Sydney Wanderers Goalkeeping Coach Davide Del Giovine.
Davide Del Giovine of Western Sydney Wanderers is one of the best goalkeeping coaches in the country, having arrived in Australia 10 years ago.
He has enjoyed successful stints as goalkeeping coach of both rival Sydney clubs, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Australia has produced many fine goalkeepers over the years, where from the likes of Bosnich and Schwarzer to current Socceroos custodian Mat Ryan, there has been no shortage of fine names to grace the penalty box over the years.
While Australia has a superb track record of producing good goalkeepers, technically they’re far behind many European nations.
The treatment of young players at an early age in comparasion to the bigger footballing nations become immediately apparent to Del Giovine when he first arrived in Australia in 2010, with technical skills possessing a far lower priority for developmental goaleeping coaches compared to in Italy.
“That was my biggest challenge when I came across (From Italy) the two different mentalities, in Italy there is a lot of technical knowledge since a young age for goalkeepers, things that maybe we lack a little bit here.”
After beginning his journey in Australian football with Football NSW and Sydney FC’s A-League and Y-League set ups, Del Giovine has been with his current club Western Sydney Wanderers since 2015 as head goalkeeping coach for the A-League.
A lot goes into preparing a goalkeeper for a match day, aside from the countless hours spent on the training ground perfecting the craft and the basics of goalkeeping.
There is also incredible in-depth analysing of opposition attackers, including-but not limited to how and where they are most likely to score and even the percentages and most likely placements of an opposing striker’s shot, providing the goalkeeper the best chance they can to save powerful shots from the A-League’s best.
“We have got so much technology, so much video analysis and you try to give it to the goalkeeper as much as you can, but at the end of the day, he’s the one to step on the field, he’s the one to face the striker” says Giovine.
During his time with the Wanderers thus far, Del Giovine has worked with a number of goalkeeper of different ages, nationalities and skill sets including Vedran Janjetovic, Daniel Lopar and current Wanderers custodian Daniel Margush.
Del Giovine’s experience with young players has come in key with helping to develop Margush as a capable number one goalkeeper.
Having played only seven first team games before joining Western Sydney, Del Giovine’s guidance was instrumental in moulding Margush into a competent first-choice goalkeeper throughout the 2020/21 A-League season.
Despite several shaky moments at the start of the season, the progress Margush was making on the pitch was evident with noticeable improvement being witnessed each week, closing the season as one of the stand-out goalkeepers in the A-League.
“They are the most under estimated people when they go on the field, I think they are the best, the most complete out there on the field and giving them all the knowledge and preparation and watching them perform, someone like Daniel (Margush) last year, he had an amazing season.”
Pre-season for the 2021/22 A-League season is now in full swing with Del Giovine hoping that under his guidance, Daniel Margush can take his game to another level with his first full season as a first-choice goalkeeper under his belt, and Del Giovine’s experience and guidance behind him.
“This year he (Margush) came back in pre-season and he looks three-times better already, it’s something that makes you proud to work as hard as we do.”
Image Supplied: Western Sydney Wanderers