The BIG Interview - Kevin Poole

Last updated : 18 October 2005 By The Rambler
DerbyMad: The phrase “Indian Summer” has been used about your revitalized playing career, how are you enjoying it?
Kevin Poole: Very much so. It seems strange to get back in the team, as I haven’t played for so long. My last game was in January. I only signed here as cover but circumstances took over and I’m in the team and I am really enjoying it.

DM: So who coaches the coach?
KP: That’s a good one (laughs). We all join in together and rotate so we are all getting work.

DM: People always talk about the goalkeepers club and how you all support each other even though you are all after the one position.
KP: That’s right. Most of the clubs that I have been to the keepers all stick together. When you are going for one position the ones who are not in are disappointed. Everyone gets on and has got to work hard to try and get that place back.

DM: It must be hard to get the place back when there are so few reserve games.
KP: Yes it is. All you can do is train hard and when the games to come along to impress the manager and hopefully it will stick in his mind and then might get in.

DM: Presumably as the goalkeeping coach you are the one that has to recommend who is right for the position?
KP: Yes I have to make one or two decisions. It does rely on me but the gaffer is the one who picks the team at the end of the day.

DM: You said that you have not played since January before you had these two games for Derby. You have now got three games in a week. Is that as difficult for a goalkeeper as an outfield player?
KP: It’s a bit different for an outfield player. I was only signed as cover at Bolton. I know I didn’t get many games but I had to be ready every week there. So if I was called on I was there to play the game and that is the situation here. I have been called upon and I’m really enjoying the time at the moment.

DM: Given that you have barely put a foot wrong in the to games do you think that maybe you shouldn’t be moving into coaching yet but still looking to earn a living as a number one keeper?
KP: No. I think it was time to look into coaching. I’m getting to the age where I won’t be lasting too much longer. This was a step in the door into coaching. And I’m enjoying it.

DM: You mentioned your age but for a keeper it is not necessarily a great age. Peter Shilton was playing beyond that age and John Burridge as well.
KP: That’s right. As a keeper you can carry on a lot longer. I think John Burridge holds the record for the Premiership at just under 45 so hopefully |I have got another couple of year s left in me.

DM: So you would like to help take Derby back and then break that record.
KP: That would be nice. Very nice.

DM: You have Wolves coming up next almost a year to when they last played the fixture. Last time it was a bit of a disastrous evening for Derby. Lee Camp got sent off in one of those situations where the goalkeeper has to come and either gets the ball or the referee sees it as a foul. I guess that must be one of the trickiest things for you as a keeper.
KP: It is. That through ball is the hardest one to judge. You can’t tell how much pace is on that ball so you have to be on your toes on the front foot ready to come. We wok in training to try and put that right with exercises to try and read the ball but it is a hard decision to make.

DM: Of course you could get into the situation that Simonson got into with Stoke on Saturday where the defender pushed the ball past him and made him look a bit of a fool.
KP: That’s right. You have got to keep that distance between you and the defender and that is the hard part about it – the distances over all, and it did make him look a fool in the end.

DM: How much of the goalkeeping job is about experience rather than ability?KP: I think it is half and half. Experience does come into it. Once you have got a few games under your belt you understand where to stand. It does play a big part in it.

DM: Presumably the other thing is that you will make mistakes at some stage as a keeper and have to put it out of your mind as soon as you have done it.
KP: Yes. For the keeper the mistake is highlighted. If you do make a mistake you have just got to forget it and try and make the next save. That is most important – the next save. So you gain more confidence that way.