As a young professional he used to guard the Rotherham goal, now Jamie Annerson has turned his attention to guiding the next generation of goalkeepers.
The former Millers keeper, who was on the books for three years between 2009-2012, is now a coach and worked for Sheffield United’s famed academy, before recently accepting a role with the Football Association.
And in addition to becoming England Women’s youth team goalkeeping coach, he has also set up his own academy – CYG Goalkeeping – with the aim of helping youngsters in the Rotherham and Sheffield area improve their skills.
Weekly sessions across the local area have begun and the 29-year-old is looking forward to putting something back into the game.
“I set up CYG Goalkeeping with the aim of providing children and young people with a platform to develop their goalkeeping skills through a multi-disciplianry approach,” Annerson told Millers Time.
“CYG stands for ‘Control Your Goal’ and we not only aim to support young goalkeepers with the desire to ‘Control Their Goal’ in football terms, it also aims to influence, shape and support young goalkeepers with their own personal journey, targets and aspirations.
“Through my experiences within footballing academies I have recognised that the facilities and the expertise of elite coaches are services that are not accessible to everyone.
“The concept of CYG Goalkeepers aims to provide every young goalkeeper with these opportunities in order to maximise their development to the best of their abilities.”
— CYG Goalkeeping (@CYG_Goalkeeping) September 3, 2017
Having come through the ranks at Sheffield United, he joined the Millers in 2009 after two previous loan spells, but things did not go to plan for him at Don Valley Stadium, making only 13 appearances in three seasons.
He found himself behind experienced pro Andy Warrington in the pecking order and then when his chance to compete for the number one shirt came around, injury and illness struck.
It led to a 2012 exit and after failing to find a new club, aged only 24, he decided to walk away from his playing career. But he was determined to stay in the game.
“I decided to go into coaching shortly after leaving Rotherham in 2012.” he said. “I’d mutually agreed to leave the club after being told the club had decided to pursue other goalkeeping options.
“After an unsuccessful trial at Stockport, where I also suffered with a recurrence of my injury, I found myself without a club, without any income and another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“My life had changed dramatically and after speaking with some of my old academy coaches at Sheffield United I started coaching with their goalkeeping walk-in centre.
“I quickly began to have more involvement with the academy goalkeepers and academy teams, working part-time at the club in addition to delivering PE lessons in a primary school, before I started in a full-time role in early 2014.
“Due to the situation I found myself in it wasn’t really a hard decision to retire from playing.
“I was unable to train and perform to any sort of level so the opportunity to start a new career within the game was one that I was truly thankful for.
“I’d already started my coaching badges and a degree in Sports Science and whilst I’d not quite completed any of the courses when I finished playing I’d say I was semi-prepared for what I was about to go into.
“Before I started my full-time position I did have a short spell in non-league with Sheffield FC but opportunities to progress to a higher level were limited and my mindset had already shifted to becoming a better coach than I would have been a player.”
If Annerson’s career as a player did not go to plan, then he is making up for it as a coach.
Having faced the disappointment of his playing career ending so young, he dusted himself down and is now making real headway.
He added: “Initially being employed by a professional club in a coaching capacity was a massive achievement. Coaching roles within academies are so competitive.
“There are already some fantastic coaches within all the clubs across the country and with the amount of experienced players finishing their careers and moving into coaching each years that makes things even harder.
“At Sheffield United we’ve been very successful at both Under-18 and Under-23 level over the last three seasons
“We have also seen many academy graduates from these teams, some have which have success in the Premier League and on the international stage.
“On a personal note, seeing two young goalkeepers, Aaron Ramsdale and Jake Eastwood, make their debuts for the club is something that I am immensely proud of.”
And now his next mission is to find the next generation of kids who might make it in the game.
All you need to know about CYG Goalkeeping
What is involved?
Technical sessions with qualified CRB-checked goalkeeping coaches – either group or one on one.
When are the sessions?
Monday – St George’s Park, Westfield, 6pm-7pm
Tuesday – St George’s Park, Graves, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Wednesday – St George’s Park, Thorncliffe, 6pm-7pm
Thursday’s – Kiveton Community Sports Park, 5pm-6pm
How do I book?
Book online via www.cyggoalkeeping.com or arrange one-on-one sessions by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does it cost?
Group technical sessions are £7. One-on-one sesions are £20.
Can I get a discount?
Get a FREE taster session by contacting email@example.com and quoting CYGROTH.