Doncaster Rovers give amateur goalkeeper a money-can't-buy football experience thanks to Smart Energy GB and EFL initiative
Doncaster Rovers Football Club gave one lucky fan a money can’t buy opportunity, to learn to ‘Save Like a Pro’, alongside number-one and academy graduate Louis Jones.
Ahead of the new season, Armthorpe Welfare FC’s Mark Oakes, 20, was invited to Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium to experience a professional goalkeeping coaching session and get tips on how to save energy on and off the pitch.
The session included crossing practice, work on ball distribution under pressure, and activities to help save energy when moving from one side of the goal to another.
The training session was organised as part of Smart Energy GB and EFL’s ‘Save Like A Pro’ campaign, which highlights howgetting a smart meter installed can help people make small changes at home to save energy and be more in control of their energy bills.
Oakes was put through his paces on the Keepmoat pitch by Jones, 22, who broke into the Rovers first team in March after Andy Butler was appointed manager.
Louis Jones has been at the club since he was 12-years-old, making his League debut against Portsmouth in a 2-1 victory, and he wanted to get involved with ’Save Like a Pro' so fans like Chris could have a chance to experience a professional standard training session.
"I’ve been sharing a few tips and tricks with Chris on the importance of having full control of his energy use," said Jones, speaking to encourage Doncaster Rovers fans to get a smart meter installed.
Smart meters come with an in-home display which helps you see where energy is being used, meaning you can save energy and money. Smart meters also put an end to estimated bills.
"I've learned a lot about being energy efficient off the pitch today, such as how getting a smart meter installed can help me manage my energy use at home.
"It’s a great opportunity to get somebody like Mark in to experience what it’s like at his hometown club, obviously I’m a homegrown player as well so I’m glad he gets to see what it’s like and how we work."
Oakes, from Conisbrough, attends Doncaster Rovers matches at the Keepmoat Stadium with his friends and he was pleased to be involved in the initiative.
He said: "I’m so happy to be involved in 'Save Like a Pro', it’s a good experience and it’s useful to be doing this kind of thing and learning from a professional goalkeeper.
"The key lesson that I learned today was knowing how to position myself without wasting energy, I’m going to put this into my game and hopefully it’ll take me up to the next level.
"Control is so important to a goalkeeper’s performance, it’s the hardest position to play on the pitch, you’ve got to concentrate for the full 90 minutes, you could do nothing all game and then in the final minutes you may need to be prepared to save your team."
Oakes was keen to emphasise how tiring and intense the session proved to be.
He said: "Today’s session was very intense and much harder than what I normally do.
"That was a light session apparently, but that was really challenging for me because I’ve never done anything like it before.
"It has been good to learn how the pros do it, I can take it back into my sessions and show the other keepers.
"Energy consumption when playing in goal is hard to control because you have got to stay concentrated at all times."
Some of the tips discussed to manage energy off the pitch were, using fewer appliances and lights during the summer months, hanging washing outside rather than using a dryer, turning your appliances off standby mode and cooking for everyone at once to use the oven less.
Others include speaking to your energy supplier about getting a smart meter installed to control your usage.
Pre-pay customers are able to top up using their mobile or online Robert Cheesewright, Director at Smart Energy GB said: "Footballers and goalkeepers need to know how to conserve their energy on and off the pitch, and the same goes for our own energy use at home.
"Getting a smart meter from your energy supplier means, through automatic billing and having greater control of your energy use, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
"The in-home display allows you to see in near-real time how much energy you are using in pounds and pence –meaning you can make some great saves, just like our goalkeepers today. Join the energy revolution and help upgrade Britain’s energy infrastructure by getting a smart meter installed at no extra cost."
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