Head of Goalkeeping delighted to be given opportunity
Huddersfield Town’s newly employed Head of Goalkeeping Nick Colgan told htafc.com that his appointment has been 23 years in the making.
It was announced last week that Nick was part of five new coaching appointments as Mark Robins restructured his coaching set-up (click HERE).
The former Republic of Ireland international ‘keeper had for two seasons worked with the Club’s Academy goalkeepers, but his hard work was recognised with Robins promoting him into the First Team set-up.
For Nick, it has been a long road to this point, which began in the Chelsea Academy, as he explained: “This job is 23 years in the making; I have been planning on being a coach ever since I started out in the game. When I was 17 at Chelsea I would stay behind and help out with the Academy instead of going back to my digs. I have always wanted to be a coach and I think being a teacher is my genes; my dad and two sisters are both teachers.”
The 40 year-old has been connected with the Club since 2010 when he joined as a player. Following his retirement in 2012, Nick took up the Academy goalkeeper post where he has worked with ‘keepers from the age of 9 through to the U18s, coaching the likes of Sam Guthrie, Lloyd Allinson and Ed Wilcyznski.
“First and foremost I am delighted that the Club thought of me to fill the position vacated by Paul Crichton at the end of the season,” Nick said on his appointment. “I am sure that they would have been inundated with applicants wanting the post, but I am glad that they have given me an opportunity and recognised the hard work that I have done in the Academy.
“I was very happy when they asked me to fill in towards the end of last season when Paul was injured and the Manager obviously liked what he saw.”
However, unlike Paul Crichton before him, Nick will take up the post of Head of Goalkeeping; a newly created role that will allow the former Chelsea youngster to keep an eye on matters below the First Team.
“When I sat down with the Manager at the end of last season and he offered me the position of First Team Goalkeeper Coach, I said that I would like to take an interest in what goes on in the Academy. I have enjoyed two years working in the Academy and the last thing that I wanted to do was turn my back on it.
“The work that goes on in the Academy is really important, for both the outfield players and goalkeepers. For a club like Huddersfield Town, it is important that we have a production line of talent coming through. We can’t survive by buying players, we need to produce home grown talent and the Club has shown over the years that it isn’t afraid of giving young players a chance.
“Now that the Club is firmly in the Championship these younger players have to be better than before to get an opportunity. The role of Head of Goalkeeping was created so that I could take an interest and monitor how the kids are progressing in the Academy, but nothing will get in the way of my work with the senior goalkeepers.”
In promoting Nick, Town showed its commitment to its ethos of continuity and the Head of Goalkeeping is looking forward to getting down to work.
“I spoke at length with Mark, Ross Wilson and Nigel Clibbens and through them you get Dean Hoyles’ vision for the Club, and I think everybody can see what has gone on over the last couple of years with the development of the training ground. The people who are in and around the club are all very decent and hardworking and that ‘one club’ environment really does come across.
“However, at the end of the day peoples’ mood is dictated by how the First Team is faring on the pitch and that needs to be right. There are interesting and exciting times ahead and I am looking forward to being a part of them.
“I can’t wait to get back into work at the beginning of July.”
Despite his keenness to keep an interest in the Academy, Nick insisted that nothing will come in the way of his work with Alex Smithies and the First Team goalkeepers.
“I have spoken with Alex and he was happy with the work that we did together during the last eight to ten weeks of the season, which was pleasing. I am also looking forward to working with whoever the Club bring in to challenge Alex as well as Lloyd (Allinson), Ed (Wilczynski) and Sam Guthrie. Those four will be just as important to me as Alex.
“Alex is a tremendous talent, which he has shown over the last couple of seasons. He came back from a long term injury and to have not missed a league game in two seasons is very impressive; I think sometimes people forget that he is only 24 years-old. He has got plenty of years ahead of him to develop mentally, physically, technically and tactically and the Club is very lucky to have a goalkeeper of his standard; I can’t wait to start working with him.
“I believe he can play at the next level and I would like to think that it would be with Huddersfield Town, but if not then he can certainly make the step up to the Premier League.”
As well as getting to know new players during pre-season, Nick will also have to become accustomed with Town’s new coaching set-up, something he is relishing.
“Pre-season always has a bit of a buzz and a nervous edge to it. I can never sit still during the off season, I always feel guilty if I am not in the gym or planning ahead. I am looking forward to meeting back up with the lads that I have worked with before in the Academy and those that are new to me.
“I worked well with Dan Hughes and Steve Eyre last season and I obviously know of Steve Thompson, he has got a very good reputation. I enjoyed my time working the Manager as well, but things have changed for him and he has new people to get to know and vice-a-versa. I would like to think that we can do that pretty quickly; he knows what type of work ethic and attitude that I will bring to my job.”
Watch Nick in action next season with a 2014/15 Season Card!