Palace’s goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely has revealed his areas of focus for the forthcoming six weeks of pre-season for Wayne Hennessey, Vicente Guaita and Julian Speroni.
Speaking at Malmö Stadion at the group's first training session since arriving in Sweden, Kiely said: “It’s all about getting their conditioning and cardio-vascular work up to speed, and their general fitness base ready to go. Then it’s about polishing their technique, working on their handling, their footwork. Then you get into the rhythm and timing of crosses, through balls and being connected to your back four.
“We’ll cover all of the elements, but we’ve got six weeks to get there – it doesn’t have to be done in the first week.”
Kiely, a veteran keeper who made more than 700 appearances for a multitude of clubs, has been with the Eagles since January and reflected on how much summer training has changed since his time between the sticks.
“These boys are ultra-professional. They work really hard in the off-season. They go away to Portugal, Dubai or wherever – but they all take their training kit and hit their targets. They all have an off-season plan. In this day and age, it’d be ridiculous if you didn’t adhere to it.
"The old school way of pre-season of letting yourself go out to graze for six weeks then [think] 'pre-season is for getting fit', those days are gone. The days when I used to think ‘10 minutes running around the pitch, and getting your heels up’ – it’s probably wasted time. These boys – as they get out on the grass, they have done 20 minutes with Scott Guyett on pre-activation on the bike. So as soon as they’re on the grass, they’re ready to go.
“That’s when we get the head-tennis or the spike ball, we’ll pair up and there is a bit of competitiveness which is good. But when you check all the data, they’ve worked as well. By the time that comes to an end after 15-20 minutes, they’re ready to go.”
But why is cardio-vascular work so important for goalkeepers, and how is Vicente Guaita settling in to the group? For answers to these questions and more, head to Palace TV (on eagles.cpfc.co.uk or on the club’s official app) for the rest of this interview with goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely.