12:16pm Tuesday 4th December 2012
Former Watford goalkeeper Richard Lee says he is hoping to unearth England’s future number one when he opens a new academy in the St Albans area in the New Year.
Lee, who was at Watford for more than a decade and played in the Premier League and an FA Cup semi final with the club, runs a goalkeeping academy called GK Icon and he will personally be opening a centre at Welwyn Garden City FC’s ground in Herns Way on January 7.
The 30-year-old, who now plays for League One side Brentford, said: “I am really excited about opening our new centre where we hope to attract talented youngsters from not only the Welwyn area but also St Albans and Hatfield.
“I created GK Icon because I wanted to give something back to a sport which has given me so much and I know when I was growing up, I would have loved the type of advice and information we provide young goalkeepers through not only our courses but also our website.
“We want to give that kid lying in bed dreaming of playing for England every opportunity to realise that ambition.
“I am sure there will be budding Joe Harts in the Welwyn or St Albans area and hopefully we can help them secure a place at a professional club, earn his first professional contract and hopefully one day play for England at Wembley.”
Lee will attend the sessions on a regular basis, which will be run on a weekly basis by former Watford team-mate Jamie Irving.
GK Icon has centres not only in the UK but also in the United States, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand and covers all aspects of goalkeeping.
The academy has already enjoyed success since its creation a couple of years ago, with a number of youngsters signing for professional clubs and three of its keepers attending trials at pro sides in the last three months.
West Bromwich Albion and England goalkeeper Ben Foster, Ipswich Town shot-stopper and former England Under-21 international Scott Loach and highly-respected goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain, who was a professional for more than 20 years himself, are among GK Icon’s consultants.
GK Icon offer free taster sessions for those interested in joining a course.
For more information on any of its centres and for the latest goalkeeping news, exclusive interviews and advice, including instructional videos, visit GKIcon.com or email Jamie@GKIcon.com.
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