The goalkeeper can dictate a game’s result with a strong performance. Being the last line of defence, and the first line of attack, the goalkeeper plays alone within team. The goalkeeper fills the most decisive position bearing lots of responsibility. It’s the goalkeeper defending the goal; it’s the goalkeeper leading and directing the team-as the goalkeeper sees the entire field. The margin of error is thin. The mental pressure is high. The physical impact is big. Day by day, Fabian Heigemeir, a former goalkeeper himself, has a focus on analyzing the particular movements of a goalkeeper. From these observations he deduces the resulting demands on the athlete’s equipment.
Q - Fabian, examining the overall performance of a goalkeeper, which equipment tool seems to be inevitable for him and his capacity?
In the end it’s actually the whole range of equipment that influences the goalkeeper’s performance. Of course you always have to consider the individual circumstances and conditions. Starting with soccer shoes to shinguards and other protections right through to goalkeeper apparel and gloves. Last-mentioned play a very significant role. There is no equipment arousing as much attention as the gloves do. It’s especially the gloves the goalkeeper focuses on, before, during and after the match.
Q - What clear advantages do you take when playing with goalkeeper gloves?
Wearing goalkeeper gloves makes it possible to catch and repel balls more safely and even better controlled. With gloves a goalkeeper is able to repel a ball having a speed of 100 km/h without getting injured. Even in wet conditions the right gloves provide best ball control in any situation. Furthermore our Ortho-Tec styles reliably avoid injuries of the finger joints by effectively supporting their stability.
Q - Based on what categories gloves can be differentiated?
Goalkeeper gloves can be distinguished by reference to following criteria:
Reusch Ortho-Tec: Before buying a glove, the goalkeeper first makes clear whether he wants a glove with or without finger protection. For both possibilities Reusch offers a wide range of products.
Palm Material: The right choice when it comes to the palm material is very essential. They differ in terms of cushioning, abrasion resistance, grip in dry conditions and grip in wet conditions.
Cut: Depending on the goalkeeper’s preferences, Reusch offers nine different cuts within the new 2011 collection. The cuts vary in terms of wearing comfort, width of the glove as well as enlarged catching areas.
Material: Last but not least goalkeeper gloves are also differentiated depending on what material is used. So there are different materials for different applications. A recreational goalkeeper that uses his glove thrice a year has different demands on he materials than a professional goalkeeper practising seven days and playing two matches a week.
Q - What makes a goalkeeper glove especially capable and powerful?
A goalkeeper glove is especially capable when the goalkeeper feels extremely safe and confident wearing it. No matter if it’s about being supported by an Ortho-Tec protection or maybe even the opposite meaning having the feeling of totally free movement and not realizing the glove at all. Because of the various preferences goalkeepers have it is hard to make a statement covering all tastes. But even though I would say that the choice of the palm material, regardless of the different cuts and technologies, creates the most important criteria referring to the capability of the glove.
Q - What do you think are the future trends in regards of materials and technologies with the segment of goalkeeper gloves?
Considering other sports segments you always realize that the focus is mostly on tight, ergonomically shaped and reduced products. Like we have already started with the Pro Flex™ Technology in the collection 2010, we continued to focus on flexibility within the new collection 2011 regarding the Flexion Wave™ Technology. The future of goalkeeper gloves will be characterized by concentrating on having as much direct contact to the ball as possible while at the same time providing best flexibility. Regarding the Pro Flex ™ Technology of the collection 2010 we have already made the backhand of the glove much more flexible, which noticeably improved the way of bending. For the collection 2011 we even made one step further. The Flexion Wave™ Technology comes with an additional flexible insert on the backhand side between wrist bandage and latex, which makes the
glove extremely soft. In combination with the Pro Flex™ Technology it gets really close to the ideal future glove. Beside the improvement of the glove’s flexibility, there will for sure also be a focus on functional features like grip or ventilation.