Arsenal coach Hall happy to help
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Arsenal Women’s Leanne Hall is one of the most respected goalkeeping coaches in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
Hall has also worked with some of the best players in the game including current European goalkeeper of the year Sari Van Veenedaal.
Speaking about her role at the Gunners, Hall said: “My main role is the responsibility of the development and performance of the goalkeepers.
“I also assist with the development of outfield players which includes opposition goalkeeper analysis to advise players how to score past the oppositions keeper as well as being responsible for set pieces.”
Hall was crucial in the title-winning season of 2018/19 as Arsenal ended with the best defensive record in the league on their way to glory conceding just 13 goals.
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Speaking about that famous campaign Hall explained it is the highlight of her Arsenal career to date, addng: “My highlight is without doubt winning the league, knowing that you have played a small part in the bigger picture.
“More importantly seeing the players play with freedom and making their own decisions whilst winning it in an attractive style for the players to play in and for the supporters to watch.”
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Hall had a successful playing career herself for clubs such as Leeds United, Fulham and Birmingham City, as well as representing England and making her debut in front of 50,000 fans at the Stade Vélodrome home of Marseille against France.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, with the players not training as a group due to the UK lockdown, Hall was asked how she was tracking the goalkeepers at this difficult time.
She explained: “Initially they received individual programmes to suit their performance needs.
“As we realised this stoppage was going to be for the long haul the medical side worked hard in adapting the outcome.
“This was to ensure the players used this time as the ‘off season’ as we were aware that maybe this would be their only break, but at the same time making sure the players are ticking over to be prepared for the ‘in season’ at any point.
“My message to the goalkeepers was to forget about training for performance as I knew their limitations with resources would make this difficult and then lead to frustrations”
“I encouraged exercise to keep them psychologically motivated. The performance training will be more prevalent as we have an idea when we will resume.”
Coaching at one of the world’s best and famous football clubs, life is bound to be busy and speaking about her daily routine Hall said: “A typical day starts with an all department staff meeting to finalise the plans for the day.
“We then have a team meeting which is analysis-based to show the team review and preview clips which will then be implemented on the pitch in training before lunch.
“The afternoon comprises of technical staff meetings, individual player meetings, observing the players in the gym, analysing forthcoming games and preparing presentations for team meetings.”
Having completed her UEFA A licence in Outfield and Goalkeeping coaching and also holding the FA Advanced Youth Award, Hall is one of the most qualified coaches in the country and indeed one of the most qualified female goalkeeping coaches in the world.
When asked how she comes up with a plan each week for the goalkeepers to train, she said: “Pre-season is a very structured plan which focuses on the development across all aspects.
“In the season we use the start of the week for individual development so this is an ongoing process. Starting Wednesday, we focus on performance training, this will be determined by the game plan for the next match where we will work on, in and out of possession, opposition, key trends that we predict we will encounter at the weekend.”
When Hall was asked what she most enjoys about her job at Arsenal Women, she replied in a positive manner and showed her passion and love for the game.
“The most enjoyable part of the job is exactly why I coach,” she added.
“I see a coach’s role as a support network to assist in taking a player where they can’t take themselves. It is extremely satisfying and rewarding being a small part of a player’s journey when they maximise their potential and achieve success.
“On a short-term basis seeing a player implement small details in a game that they have focused on that week.”
With Arsenal currently lying third in the WSL table and with a Champions League quarter-final still to play against French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Hall was asked about what her dreams and aspirations for the future are.
She said: “We have just started the journey of reaffirming Arsenal as contenders for all the competitions we enter. Our playing philosophy has clear direction. We hope to evolve this so that we can compete with the best teams in England and Europe in order to win silverware on a regular basis.”