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Club news

Stewart: A great opportunity for me

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Gareth Stewart admitted the chance to join the AFC Bournemouth first-team coaching staff was “too good an opportunity to turn down”.

Stewart recently took up the position of assistant first-team goalkeeping coach at Vitality Stadium, working under and reporting into Neil Moss.

The role became available after Anthony White left to take up a position with the FA as England men’s national goalkeeping coach.

Stewart had been coaching the club’s under-21 goalkeepers since April 2017, having previously worked with the under-16s.

First-team goalkeeper coach at Yeovil Town between 2011 and 2015, he made 179 appearances for the Cherries between 1999 and 2008.

Stewart told afcb.co.uk: “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the role because the club is in a really good place.

“This is an opportunity for me to work at a level that I haven’t done for a number of years and to get back into the first-team environment.

“The biggest thing for me is to help the guys and help Mossy drive it on as far as we can and try to bounce back straightaway. That was a big lure.

“It wasn’t a massive change for me to come into the environment and the biggest difference is that this is where I will stay.

“I probably came in about 20 times last season to help so started to strike up a relationship with the goalkeepers.

“It’s been an education because it’s a different way of doing things under a different manager and a different first-team coach.

“There is plenty to learn and plenty to do. I want to help push it as hard as we can to get back to where we want to be.”

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Stewart started his career in the youth ranks at Blackburn Rovers where he worked under Terry Gennoe and John Filan in the mid-1990s.

“That was probably the era when goalkeeper coaches for youngsters were first introduced,” said Stewart.

“Academies were starting to take shape then as well so I was fortunate to be at the front end when that was happening.

“For me, the biggest change over the years has been analysis. You can use it as a great tool to really look at the game, look at modern trends and different techniques.

“You can look at opposition players, see the way people finish, the way teams are set up and the way they attack including set-pieces.

“There have been a lot of changes with regards to analysis but, as far as coaching goes, it’s really on you. It’s about what you believe in and what you buy into.

“We try to individualise here. We look at what type of goalkeepers we have, we look at their strengths and how we can utilise those strengths and chip away at areas to improve.

“Mossy likes to push and challenge them. When we can mix the groups, we push and challenge them to see where they are.

“The older guys know there are people underneath who are champing at the bit and the younger guys get to see the standards you have to attain.”  

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