Town gave one lucky fan a money cannot buy opportunity to learn to ‘Save Like A Pro’, alongside Czech shot-stopper Tomas Holy.
Ahead of the new season, Needham Market FC’s Danielle Clarke was invited to Playford Road, to experience a professional goalkeeping coaching session and get tips on how to save energy when playing.
The session included warm-up drills, handling, footwork, eye coordination with the ball, as well as looking at Clarke’s technical skills such as handshape.
The training session was organised as part of Smart Energy GB and EFL’s ‘Save Like a Pro’ campaign, which highlights how getting a smart meter installed can help people make small changes at home to save energy and be more in control of their energy bills.
With the sun poking out through the clouds, Danielle was put through her paces by Tomas and Town’s goalkeeping coach, John Keeley.
'Keeper coach, John explained to Danielle how important saving energy on the pitch is: “Concentration comes into goalkeeping a lot, they're not like an outfield player where they can run about.
“They're always saving energy by walking across the goal and not running and getting into good positions to save energy for themselves, so when they need that spurt and a little bit of quick motion onto the ball, they're ready to go.”
Smart meters come with an in-home display so users can easily see where energy is being used, meaning they can make small changes to be more efficient, budget more easily and put an end to estimated bills.
When it comes to saving energy on and off the pitch Tomas likes to keep it simple: “I always say football is 80 to 20, 80% about your head, and 20% your football skills, your preparation, in the gym, on the pitch.
“I think it's even more important to train your mind and your head than your football skills.
“[Before a game] I start with good sleep the night before, then because I'm looking forward to every single game, so I get excited more and more as the game comes up.
“I stick with my routine I do before every game, so I eat food and basically it starts with changing room when I change, warm up and for 15 years, I've been doing things the same way.”
“When I'm not at home I switch off everything, there's no way I would go to the shops and leave the television on.
“Even when I go back home after the season to the Czech Republic, I switch everything off even the microwave and stuff like that.
“I really enjoyed learning and talking about how we can control energy off the pitch too, such as getting a smart meter installed. They help people to see where they can save energy and in turn money by showing energy use throughout the home.
“It was a really enjoyable session it is a bit of a surreal experience, usually you just watch them and then you are suddenly there training with them, but it was a really good experience.
“The drills were mainly footwork based just moving around the goal, lots of low dives, mid dives, just getting that full range.”
Unlike Tomas who transitioned from outfield into goal, Danielle, from Ipswich, has always been a goalie and was part of the Ipswich Town women’s development side.
The 20-year-old currently works in the home shopping department of Tesco and joined Needham Market after leaving Ipswich where she plays as their No.1.
Danielle learnt some useful tips and tricks on saving energy: “You mainly save energy when you're resting, so in between sets when you're working, and little drink breaks in the middle.
“I save energy at home by just making sure everything's turned off before you go out and not leaving on any unnecessary lights when you don’t need to.”
Among the tips discussed to manage energy off the pitch by Tomas and Danielle was using fewer appliances and lights during the summer months, hang washing outside rather than using a dryer, and turn your appliances off standby mode.
While speaking to your energy supplier about getting a meter installed to control your usage, switching off lights when not in use and cooking for everyone at once, to ensure using the oven less, are key energy-saving practices.
Robert Cheesewright, Director at Smart Energy GB said: “Footballers and goalkeepers need to know how to conserve their energy on and off the pitch, and the same goes for our own energy use at home.
“Getting a smart meter from your energy supplier means, through automatic billing and having greater control of your energy use, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
“The in-home display allows you to see in near-real-time how much energy you are using in pounds and pence - meaning you can make some great saves, just like our goalkeepers today.
“Join the energy revolution and help upgrade Britain’s energy infrastructure by getting a smart meter installed at no extra cost.”
If you would like to register your interest in getting a smart meter installed, contact your energy supplier. Smart Energy GB and the EFL Partnership: Save Like a Pro. For more information visit smartenergyGB.