Friday 9th June 2017
THEY say that your goals change as your career progresses.
Jamie Ewings would readily agree.
When he was making his way in senior football with Motherwell, or playing Champions League qualifier football with Drogheda United, he’d have laughed at the idea of going into coaching.
But with time having moved on, it’s a challenge he’s ready for.
Having experienced football at more levels than many players experience, he’s now going to pass on his knowledge to his fellow goalies at Dumbarton.
He became the club’s new goalkeeping coach earlier this week, although he will continue as a player.
Now in his seventh season with Sons, he’s ready for a new venture.
He said: “It’s a bit of a trip into the unknown for me, but I’m more than happy to do it.
“I’ll do anything for the club – I’m almost part of the furniture now. I’ve always enjoyed my time here and I’m glad that the club has put its faith in me to be part of the management.
“I’ve never really had any intentions of going into coaching before. My old man told me when I was about 18 that I should get into it, but I tried it and didn’t enjoy it.
“But the older you become, the more you think about the possibility.
“You are training with boys from the youth teams and pass on your knowledge to help them learn. It’s something I quite enjoy now – I never thought I would say that!
“I’ve done some work with boys from East Kilbride, where I live, and there were a few times I had to take sessions for goalkeepers. It’s something I’m more than happy to go with.”
These days, becoming a coach means having to get the pen and paper out and further your qualifications.
Jamie is currently at the midway point of earning his full coaching spurs, with the ambition of moving further forward now that he has a coaching post.
He continued: “The way it is with goalkeepers, the pathway is in five stages.
“When I left full-time football I started doing my qualifications and I’m on the third stage at the moment. It’s a basic licence and I got that about two years ago.
“The next step is the UEFA B licence, and then the full UEFA goalkeeping coach licence. I’ve got a bit of a way to go, but I’ve enough qualifications to fit the criteria for the Championship.
“I’ll be looking to get my B licence done in the next year or two. It’s not easy to get – it’s a two or three day stint and a lot of hard work, so I’ll need to see how that fits in.”
But although he is now one of Stevie Aitken’s coaching team, Jamie isn’t ready to hang up the gloves just yet.
Still a registered player, he’s aiming to get more game time in the coming season than he did in the previous campaign.
Which was none at all, due to a bad back injury and the form of Alan Martin.
It’s a real hard luck story for a goalkeeper who, in April 2016, almost single-handedly shut out Rangers at Ibrox on the night they won the Championship title.
With that now behind him, he’s hopeful of resuming his time between the posts.
He added: “Last year was probably the worst of my career.
“I didn’t play any football at all, which was down to my misfortune with injury, and Alan coming in and playing absolutely outstandingly.
“I had my injury about a week and a half into pre-season training, which was just one of those things. I’ve seen the club physio, I’ve had physio away from football, and they’ve said it takes about nine to 10 months to fully heal.
“I’m feeling a bit better but it’s still something that’s always going to be there in the back of my mind. The astro pitches don’t really help either, especially as a goalkeeper flinging yourself about.
“I’ve put in quite a bit of work to get back to where I should be and I just need to see where it takes me.
“Alan is a good friend of mine and did really well for us. I was delighted for him and he deserved his move to go full-time.
“Here’s hoping I can get some more game time this season.”