Wests Juniors battle in Goalie Wars

The first junior “Goalkeeper Wars” held in New Zealand took place at Paraparaumu on Sunday 21 July 2013. The competition was organised by Premier Keepers Academy (Michael Utting, ex-New Zealand national team keeper). Western Suburbs was proudly represented by 3 of our best junior goalkeepers, Gabe Cooper (Grade 12 Lions), Tom Sweeney (Grade 12 Leopards) and Hamish Mulvey (Grade 11 Titans).

For those unfamiliar with the Goalie Wars the rules of this tournament saw the keepers in 3m by 2m goals 15m apart. The keepers take it in turns to try and score past their opponent by throwing the ball (no kicking for this tournament). Each game lasts 4 minutes. Keepers aged 12 and over on the day competed in the senior competition whereas those 11 and under played in the junior competition. This saw Gabe with the seniors, Tom and Hamish with the juniors.


First game of the day saw Hamish face off against Tom. Hamish took an early lead but Tom pulled one back to draw 1-1. As it was this was the last goal Tom was to concede in the tournament.

Gabe made it comfortably through to the senior semi-finals but then had to face off against an older opponent who turned out to be the eventual winner. This loss meant his final game was the 3rd/4th play off. Again this was a tough draw and another loss but a very creditable 4th place overall.


In the junior tournament the grading was based on the number of goals scored rather than those conceded. Hamish was the victim of a tough qualifying round and lack of goals scored saw him in the 5th through 8th play offs. He won both games which meant a 5th finish overall. A kinder qualifying group would have seen him in the top 3 for sure.


Despite only conceding 1 goal in the qualifiers Tom finished 4th. His semi-final against the 2nd ranked keeper saw Tom score in the top corner with his first throw of the match and he never looked back going on to win 5-0. In the final he played the 1st ranked keeper but ran out a comfortable 6-0 win to finish as winner of the junior competition.