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Former German custodian Pfannenstiel all praise for Subrata

Mumbai: India football goalkeeper Subrata Pal was praised on Tuesday by former custodian Lutz Pfannenstiel of Germany here on the second day of the AIFF-organised goalkeeping course.

Prior to the start of the theory session, 39-year-old course coordinator, Pfannenstiel referred to Pal as `Spiderman` and praised his stint with Rasen Ballsport Leipzig, a club in the fourth division league of his country.

Pointing out that Pal`s stint with the German outfit in division four was a very fruitful one as the standard of the fourth tier in Germany is as good as the Premier League in other parts of the world, Pfannenstiel said, "I got good reviews about him (Subrata).

"The standard in the German fourth division League is very high, I can assure you that. So his stint with Rasen Ballsport Leipzig must have been very good.

"I`ve heard about his potential. The standard in Germany is very high and level of competition stays intense," said the German who had represented 25 different clubs all over the world during his playing career.

Pfannenstiel, who became a goalkeeping coach four years ago, said since Germany is the place for goalkeepers, Pal must have got a good training.

"Germany is the place for goalkeepers. The Netherlands also produce great goalkeepers. So Pal`s training could only have gone in one direction...That is good," he said.

The two-hour long theory session also saw Pfannenstiel stress on the importance and transformation of equipment of a goalkeeper, training methods and so on.

Videos were shown to the participants to explain the drills they need to perform in their next practical session.

"The equipment of a goalkeeper has changed over the years. From the ball which swings a lot now than probably ten years back, to their gloves, everything has changed. A goalkeeper of the 80s would find life difficult nowadays," said the former German player.

"The need for good quality equipment is paramount. In Africa you don`t find good goalkeepers. The reason is that kids who choose goalkeeping have harrowing experience standing under the bar," the former goalkeeper said.

"The grounds are full of stones and they are the ones who have to do the diving. So naturally they don`t want to do it. This is where good quality kits come into play."

Pfannenstiel also explained how coaches should train their goalkeepers.

"A goalkeeper trains alone with his coach. He is in that way separated from the main team`s training. But the head coach stays the most important. A goalkeeper`s training is always special," Pfannenstiel said.

"If you are a national team goalkeeping coach, you have limited time with your goalkeepers. So you have to chalk out your training plan in a nutshell. But if you are with a club you have time and this is where club keeper training comes into the fray," he added.