Written by Nairn County FC June 2nd 2017

IT may be over a fortnight until pre-season training begins in earnest but Nairn County's goalkeepers are hard at work already. Having taken just four-and-a-half weeks off, first team stoppers Dylan Maclean and Ryan Macleod were joined by under-20s goalkeepers Fraser Wilkie and Aidan Stewart – who has been promoted from the under-17s squad – to be put through their paces by Goalkeepers' Coach Michael Rae at Bught Park in Inverness. The quartet will continue training until linking up again with their first team and under-20s team mates on June 17th and June 24th for the beginning of each squad's respective pre-season programme. Rae said: "The guys were all in good spirits, motivated and keen to get started. They have shown a great attitude and willingness by coming back to training early." "I want the guys to have the handling, movement, quickness and sharpness in place early, so that we can concentrate on doing more technical stuff as pre-season gets going, giving them as much of a chance of being in peak condition for the start of the season." "The best thing for me was the goalies all thought the same and had the willingness to come on board with my ideas. It just goes to show they are really willing to learn and better themselves, which is my ultimate goal to make them better goalkeepers for the long term benefit of the club." He added: "From the early sessions, I am looking for them to be moving their feet quickly and have their movement at a high level – to allow them more time during games – as well as concentrating on their hand-to-eye co-ordination. I am also looking to improve their handling, as being able to move their feet quicker and having that become more natural will allow them to catch the ball more effectively, make more saves and hold the ball more often during training sessions and games. This will take the pressure of the defence in cross balls and shot stopping, so that is the purpose of having their feet co-ordination at a level which allows them to concentrate on their hands." "As my old goalkeeping coach Alan Hodgkinson used to say, "catch, catch, catch". If I can have the guys doing that then they are going to lose less goals and concede less rebounds and chances." Graeme Macleod

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