Friedel hoping for Spurs player/coach role

Brad Friedel has been a brilliant goalkeeper in the Premier League and is currently the Tottenham Hotspur number two.

Friedel hoping for Spurs player/coach role

Today is his birthday, happy 43rd birthday Brad, and he appreciates at this stage of his career contracts get shorter and shorter. While he has a contract until the end of June, his future has been assessed on a monthly basis this season.

Ability diminishes with time and the older you get the quicker it goes so he has been doing everything he can to prolong his playing days while he takes his coaching badges.

In January he took a coaching session and answered questions for reporters. Towards the end he revealed that he assesses himself and his situation on a monthly basis.

Q - Do either management or coaching interest you when the time comes to retire now that you are nearing getting your coaching badge?

"Yes it does, whether it’s coaching or it’s management. From my standpoint, it’s a great area to watch a game from and to learn from.

"When I started doing my coaching you pick an area on the field that you see best from, and mine’s obviously – if you’re doing phases of play for example – you go and you stand behind the goalkeeper and you can see everything."

Q - Some goalkeepers seem to be mad, eccentric creatures, who make some crazy decisions, why are keepers perceived that way?

"I think that comes more from the fact that, many moons ago, people thought goalkeepers were crazy and they were sort of just set aside. I’ll agree that some goalkeepers are eccentric, but you can’t be thick to be a goalkeeper. You have to make too many decisions at too short a notice to be thick. Eccentric, yes of course you can be, absolutely, but to be a top goalkeeper you can’t be thick."

Q - Would you like to take up a coaching role and what advice would you give others considering taking their badges?

"Of course it’s something that I’m interested in [coaching], definitely. I’ll finish my A license sometime just after the summer. It’s been a long haul.

"I heard a player on one of the radio programmes the other day saying ‘I’ll start my badges, they can fast-track players through’.

"There’s nothing fast-track about it if you do it properly. It’s an important part – not so much the knowledge, because the knowledge is in most of our heads, especially those of us who have been involved in the game a long time – but it’s ‘how do you get it out of them? Who do you get it out to?

"You have to learn the right sizes of the field for the right types of players. ‘We’ll just take today, I didn’t know what you guys’ skill levels were going to be, so one of the reasons I did the ball work was so that I could see the skill levels, and if I needed to change the size of the three vs threes [pitch size] then I would have done.

"Those were probably the right size because if I’d made it any bigger you guys would have got really tired. It’s the little things you learn along the way.

"Five years ago when I started doing the coaching stuff, I wouldn’t have even thought of that. I would have said ‘well you adapt’, and that’s not how it works.’

"I think you have to take your ego and put it to the side because you’ve started from the basement."

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Q - What other aspects have you found most useful?

"The man management aspects – that’s why probably playing helps with that side, but the organisation of a training session… If you’re not organised it’s a tough thing and players will spot it.

"It doesn’t matter at what age. A 14-year-old will go out there and say ‘this isn’t organised, this is garbage’."

Q - What do you do to stay so fit?

"I’ve done the same for probably the last 10 years now. I do yoga quite often. Yoga for me has been a really important part of my training regime.

"It was actually a player I used to play with [at Galatasaray], Barry Venison. I visited him after I tore my quad.

"I did some rehab and he said I should get into it. I came back here [England] and then some guys from Holland that I used to do some rehab work with, they started getting me involved and said ‘you know what you should really do? You’re 32 now, or whatever it was. Your core should be much more flexible than it is. It’s strong but it’s tight and you’re just going to continue to get these injuries if you don’t sort that out. We’ve got pilates, we’ve got yoga and so on.’ And that’s how it came to pass.’

"I’m not a big drinker, I eat the right foods. Everybody’s body chemistry is different, so the right foods are… I can go to the sports science department and have my blood taken and they can see what I’m deficient in and what I’m not – and then the right foods are what you’re deficient in, you eat those foods.

"I’m not one for the protein-only diets and things of that nature. I’m well-balanced. If I have my blood-work done and I’m deficient in Vitamin D, well that’s because I live in England."

Q - Would you like to remain at Spurs in a player coach capacity?

"Yeah it would be great if I could. We just have to wait and see. At my age it’s more of a month to month thing instead of year to year.

"On that side of things [coaching], I think most people would love to be at a club like this. There would have to be jobs available and there would have to be conversations and they would have to want me. Again, there’s interest in doing something like that [being a player/coach], of course."

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