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Meet the Coaches: Goalkeepers

By Patrick Wood, 11/11/20, 11:00AM EST


Youth Club Add Forester & Phillips to Enhance Goalkeeper Development

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

The Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club welcomed two new additions of the coaching staff in September, Amanda Forester and Mac Phillips, both goalkeeper coaches. Both coaches have been working weekly with all of the travel goalkeepers and providing introductory clinics for the U9/10 program.  

“It has been an absolute pleasure to add Amanda and Mac to the coaching staff,” expressed Richmond Kickers Youth Club Executive Director, Leigh Cowlishaw. “In only a short period of time they have made a significant impact on our goalkeeper program. The feedback from our membership has been overwhelmingly positive and I look forward to them being an integral part of the team moving forward.”

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

Forester brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club, devoting over 25 years to the sport. Along with also being the President and Technical Director of the Richmond Goalkeeping Academy, she has spent the last 14 years coaching goalkeepers all over the state. 

“My coaching philosophy is built around developing elite modern-day goalkeepers and leadership skill sets that the goalkeepers can use on and off the field,” said Forester. “I focus strongly on the mental game, leadership, communication, strength, distribution, handling skill sets and more. I intentionally design each session to build on top of the last so that the goalkeepers develop strong foundations, tactical awareness and become better leaders. Mentorship through the development process is of huge importance to me.”

Being no stranger to the Kickers, Forester first started coaching with the club through the Little Kicks program when she moved to the area in 2007 and befriended many of the youth club coaches, including Kofi Nti and Reuben Joseph. 

“In September, some of our goalkeepers and their parents reached out when the goalkeeping position became available and asked that I please connect with Leigh,” continued Forester. “I was excited to return to the club that welcomed me years and years ago to this beautiful city that I now call home.”

Phillips is in his third season as an assistant coach at Hampden-Sydney College. Prior to that move, Phillips was the goalkeeping coach for  North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho along with being the goalkeeping coach for the Spokane Shadow/Sounders Soccer Club, a partner club of Seattle Sounders FC. 

“The club is ingrained in the Richmond soccer scene,” commented Phillips. “Quality players and coaches make up the club so it’s an awesome opportunity to help players advance their skill sets and learn from other coaches.“

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

A native of Rocky Mount, Va., Phillips played collegiately in Williamsburg at the College of William and Mary, graduating in 2016. During his freshman season, Phillips tied a school record nine shutouts in a single season. While in school, Philips coached with the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club over two years. 

“A confident goalkeeper will impact the entire group's confidence,” added Phillips. “If the training environment and mentality of the goalkeeping group and/or individuals are strong, then we can accomplish that. I want to create high expectations combined with room for error in an up tempo training environment.”