‘Keepers Aja Aguirre, Philipa Davies and goalkeeping coach, Amy Page, make up the ‘goalkeeping union’ at Nottingham Forest and we caught up with the shot stoppers as the first half the season comes to a close.
How much easier does it make life at the club having a good ‘goalkeeping union’ around you?
Aguirre: “To be honest, I absolutely love it. Goalkeepers obviously tend to spend more time with each other than with the rest of the team, so having two great goalkeepers that are also great people to share my training time with makes all the difference.”
Davies: “It’s great to have such a friendly union, the vibe is always positive which helps when we train and on game day. We spend a lot of time during training together working and it’s great that we all get along so well. We all want to make sure we work hard for each other all the time so we all get the best out of each session.”
Page: “A strong goalkeepers’ union means the world to all three of us. It’s based on a mutual understanding of the extreme emotions we cope with psychologically over the course of a season. It encourages you to be the best you can be and gives you the greatest support network you can imagine.”
What do you enjoy most about working with each other?
Aguirre: “Like I said, they're just great people. I know the word "family" gets thrown around a lot in this club, but that's just because it’s really the only way to describe the dynamic. Not only are Pip and Amy extremely hard-working individuals, they are also two people that I consider my close friends. We always have each other's backs, and are there for each other on and off the pitch. It genuinely makes me look forward to every training session because I know that we will not only work our tails off and push each other, but we'll have fun and laughs and a bit of banter while doing it.”
Davies: “Amy and Aja always push me to work harder and constantly encourage me throughout every session. We always have a good time and get what we need to from the work.”
Page: “They are so dedicated and hungry for knowledge. They’re constantly wanting to improve their game. They are an absolute joy to work with.”
Do you each find yourself learning from each other continuously in training?
Aguirre: “100%! Nobody is ever finished learning, and I find myself learning new things week in and week out. The film review and "goal line cam" Amy has introduced this season has been particularly helpful for me to see where I need improvement as the game footage often doesn't have a great angle on the play around the goal. It's really helped me see things that I may not have initially noticed, which we then discuss amongst ourselves and implement into training sessions following each game. And despite her young age, Pip has taught me a lot this season as well in terms of motivation and attitude. She's not only had a wicked first team debut (not conceded a goal this season - including preseason), but she's shown a brilliant attitude consistently and is always looking to learn and improve. Technical and tactical skill can be homed in training - which she's already shown in abundance - but a good attitude is something inherent and can't always be taught. I feel lucky to be a part of this union.”
Davies: “I am constantly learning from both Aja and Amy in every session, I feel like I have developed a lot already. It’s great to have older and experienced players and coaches to work with and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
Amy, how does it feel seeing the ‘keepers achieve on the field knowing you’ve contributed to that success?
Page: “I’ve played football from a young age and been watching it for even longer – it’s my main passion and it always has been. My player days are over and coaching is now where I spend my free time. It’s an honour to be able to share my knowledge and see people’s development. There is no greatest buzz. Aja’s clean sheet at Pride Park was a particular standout moment because we’d worked so hard and for it to come in a derby day at a fantastic stadium was immense. Pip’s back-to-back clean sheets in the County Cup were also proud moments. As a keeper, a clean sheet is gold dust and I’m so chuffed for both of them.”