Football

Between the posts: A Goalkeeper’s goals

By Mark Devlin

Greg Hartley is used to preventing goals on the field, but off the pitch he has a message for footballers who want to achieve their dreams.

The Manchester-born goalkeeper has had quite the career path, moving from the UK to the U.S when he turned pro, and he has some key advice for young people wanting to follow in his footsteps:

“I don’t want to be really cliché here, but determination and dedication have to be two traits you pose. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, so give it your all.

It’s not just about the talent these days: coaches, managers and clubs look for people who they know they can make into a real player. If you don;t have that, then you probably won’t go anywhere.”

Hartley currently plays with Ashton United in the seventh tier of English football, as well as coaching Oldham Athletic, two roles that pose different skills:

You have to manage people differently, especially as a coach; you have to understand your players more. As a player, it was more one-way and reliant on trust.

The 30 year-old came through the ranks at Manchester City, winning the FA Youth Cup Final in 2008 alongside some recognisable faces. It’s an achievement Greg looks fondly back on:

it’s one of the biggest acolades that I was part of, and one of my proudest moments. Especially with that team, Premier League players like Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier. It was a special bunch.

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