Karl Darlow Interview

Name: Karl Darlow
Age: 19
Nationality: English

How old where you when you first started playing football and did you always want to be a goalkeeper?
I was about 6 or 7 when I first started training properly, as a young lad I was a defender and was about 9 or 10 when I changed to become a Goalkeeper.

Who was your biggest influence growing up?
I’d have to say my dad, my dad took me everywhere and we speak through games and everything like that, but my whole family have had a massive input through the years.

How do you prepare for a big game, any tips on warmups?
Just get an early nights sleep really, eat well, prepare well from the day before – don’t go doing anything too exhausting. Tips on warmups – just get yourself a good warmup, don’t do too much but make sure you’re ready for a game. Make sure you get plenty of hands, a few dives just to get yourself used to hitting the floor and get yourself well prepared for the game.

Are you superstitious or do you have any pre-game rituals?
Not really, just put my pads on the same everytime – left one first then the right one, that’s about it.

What techniques do you employ to make sure you stay focused for the full 90 minutes?
Normally just set myself a target to get through to 45 minutes preferably with a clean sheet, if not and I let a goal in then I’m determined to make it just that one goal, if another goal goes in then just to make it two goals and so on and so forth. Then just carry on through the match.

What goalkeeper gloves do you wear and how important is the right goalkeeper glove to you?
Currently wearing Sells goalkeeper gloves, I’ve just changed from Umbro. I like the Sells goalkeeper gloves at the moment it is important to get the right goalkeeper gloves for you and there are many out there.

What are the main features that you look for in a goalkeeper glove?
Obviously, mainly grip then comfort and how it fits around the hand.

Since you’ve started playing what is the most important bit of advice you’ve been given and by who?
When I was released from Villa my dad said at the time, this could be the best thing that happens to you and it’s turned out to be really – getting signed at Forest and getting through to the first team.

Do you have any career highlights so far?
Playing Pre-season against Lyon for the first team – coming on for the last 25 minutes and doing well.

Who is your most difficult opponent, both team and player?
As a youngster Everton were always a good side, away from home you knew they had a good side. Also Man city were pretty dominant at a younger age.

Any advice you could give to young Goalkeepers trying to break through?
Just stick at it really, no matter what just keep training – train hard and you’ll get there eventually.

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Daz @ KeeperPortal

Owner and creator of Keeper Portal, an FA qualified goalkeeping coach as well as being pretty impressive at keeping balls out of a net.

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