As part of the ongoing partnership between FC Cincinnati and TSG Hoffenheim, the two co-founders of the Common Value Club Alliance, which aims to take an integrated approach to identifying talent and jointly promoting holistic development pathways in addition to creating a societal impact, have launched a development program for goalkeepers and coaches in the Queen City.
Approximately 15 select coaches from local clubs and regional college programs showed up for a free goalkeeping clinic and demonstration at FC Cincinnati’s Milford Training Complex, led by FC Cincinnati Director of Goalkeeping Paul Rogers, and German Bundesliga side U19 goalkeeper coach Philipp Birker.
During the theoretical part of the session, the local coaches had the chance to peek behind the curtain at the philosophies of both clubs and learn about the demands of modern goalkeepers at the highest level of football. American and German, followed by a Q&A session.
During the second session of the day, Rogers and Birker facilitated a hands-on training session, giving attendees the opportunity to learn about the structural development and methodology of a GK training session. The event concluded with a tour of FCC’s Mercy Health Training Center and unshown behind-the-scenes access to the Milford practice facility.
Exchange of ideas and knowledge to advance the development of both clubs and the region
The workshop was part of a 10-day knowledge exchange between Birker and FC Cincinnati goaltending manager Paul Rogers, as well as FC Cincinnati 2 goaltending coach Ryan Coulter.
Michael Rechner, director of goalkeeping at TSG Hoffenheim, called the measure an important one that serves much more than just the personal development of his proteges.
“Paul is an excellent goalkeeper coach that I really appreciate. The visit is not only a valuable training experience for Philipp, but also helps both clubs to exchange ideas and knowledge to advance the development of our two clubs within the goalkeeping departments,” said Rechner.
Transform the Mercy Health training center into a regional hub for goaltenders
Rogers’ take on the swap highlights that the two clubs share much more than the same emphasis on a top sporting environment and focus on an innovative approach.
“I always thought I was lucky as a coach to be invited to certain clubs, be it the (English) Premier League, the Championship, to be surrounded by top level coaches” , Rogers said before the clinic. “When I was younger and had those opportunities, that’s what… makes you a better coach. So I feel like if you can open a door and allow other coaches to come in… it gives them the opportunity to see what is being done on a different level.
Community-focused programs like these aim to support Rogers’ vision of transforming Mercy Health Training Center into a regional hub for goaltenders.
“I think the dream outcome is to develop goalkeepers in the academy here. You bring coaches into the club and you promote them either within MLS or wherever you want to be. And that’s whatever you want. I mean, my goal is to be at a club and be successful at the club. So anyone I can bring around me, be it a player or a manager on the goalkeeping side “I want them to grow where they want to be, hopefully to make the club stronger. You can make the club stronger by leaving the club in a positive way, or you’re here for the long haul and we’re successful at FCC.” , Rogers said.
Professionalism, inclusiveness and openness – living values in the Queen City
In addition to observing Rogers and Coulter and the practice clinic, Birker, who is also responsible for goaltending scouting and squad planning at Hoffenheim Academy, attended the FCC’s home game against the New England Revolution at TQL Stadium on May 21.
“I am very grateful to the staff of TSG and FCC for this exceptional experience. The area is absolutely football mad and excited about the club. The training facility and stadium, as well as the fan base, are absolutely spectacular – even by German standards,” said Birker.
He also highlighted the club’s ‘professionalism, inclusiveness and openness’.
“What impressed me the most was the openness and the warmth with which I was received. The fact of having had the chance to watch the match next to [General Manager] Chris Albright says it all. It would be unthinkable in the Bundesliga.
Looking ahead, Birker and Rogers plan to expand the relationship with local coaches and grow the network of talented coaches in and around the Queen City.
About the Alliance of Shared Values Clubs
The mission of the Common Value Club Alliance, CVCA, is to create a holistic partner development platform that promotes excellence on and off the pitch, while adding value to people, planet and society. : Three clubs. Three continents. A mission.
The CVCA is open to expanding its network with like-minded sports clubs as well as government institutions, NGOs, businesses and other organizations.