Exclusive – Former England number one Rachel Brown-Finnis has explained the crucial role that specialised coaching has played in producing quality goalkeepers in women’s football, suggesting it is ‘no surprise’ to now see a talented pool of Lionesses stoppers emerge as a result.

Mary Earps has been England’s starter so far this season but there is fierce competition just to get into the squad, which is a hugely positive position for the national team to be in.

Ellie Roebuck has missed recent games for Manchester City because of injury, but is widely expected to be long-term England number one. Yet there is also competition from Sandy MacIver and Hannah Hampton, as well as more established names like Earps and Carly Telford.

Brown-Finnis, who was an England international for 16 years until 2013 and played over 80 times for the Lionesses, suggests the key reason for such improvement in the position is proper coaching – something she admits she never consistently had during her own career.

“I didn’t have a regular goalkeeper coach at club [level] ever. There were spells where I had a goalkeeper coach and spells where I didn’t, which was eternally frustrating,” Brown-Finnis, who is a coach on the second series on BT Sport’s Ultimate Goal, told 90min.



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