Through YouTube training, UE's Frank Rieza has done well in his rookie season
Santino Honasan on Apr 07, 2017 02:06 PM
UE goalkeeper Frank Rieza has put together an impressive rookie season, even without the help of a specialized goalkeeping coach.
If you've been following the UAAP men's football tournament, then you've probably taken notice of University of the East's young Frank Rieza.
While UE's record may not exactly reflect it, the rookie keeper from Quezon Province has been showing flashes of brilliance throughou the whole season, and has the makings of a future Best Goalkeeper.
That's why when UE head coach Fitch Florence Arboleda revealed that Rieza isn't being trained by a specialized goalkeeping coach, it was, surprising, to say the least.
"Yung bata, sa totoo lang po, walang nagte-train dun sa bata, kumbaga parang free player lang sya sa drills namin," said Coach Fitch. "Next season, for sure kukunan ko siya ng goalkeeping coach, kasi sobrang talented nung bata eh."
In their stunning 2-1 win against Ateneo, Rieza came close to accomplishing what no other keeper has done, and that's shutting the high-scoring Ateneo team down in a win. A Carlo Liay penalty kick in the second half however, cancelled that out.
FEU's RJ Joyel has been the only player so far to hold a clean slate against Ateneo, but that came in a 0-0 draw.
"Napakalaking kumpiyansa ko yun, kasi kahit naman bihira akong may training, focused ako na walang mag-gogoal sa akin, pero ayun nga nagkaron sila ng penalty." said Rieza after the match.
Reiza confirmed that he didn't have a dedicated keeper coach, and that everything does, he's picked up from watching videos on the internet.
"Nanonood lagi ako sa YouTube, yung mga save ng mga keeper, tapos parang na-aadapt ko rin po, kahit hindi ako nakakapag-training, kahit bihira ako mag-training."
His favorite keeper? Germany/Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer.
Rieza added that his only training happens when he gets to join the team in tactical shooting drills.
"Tapos sa training, bounce-bounce lang ako ng bola sa kamay, tapos pag tacticals na sila pag shooting, saka lang ako pumapasok."
With the skill and potential that Rieza has, you'd figure that he's been playing for a long time, and that he's always wanted to be the team's last line of defense.
Well, one of those statements is true, as he has been playing since he was in elementary school, but only decided to shift to becoming a keeper once he hit first year high school.
"Since elementary po naglalaro na ako, pero grade four to six, hindi pa po ako goalkeeper, first year high school na ako nag-goalkeeper."
Why make the switch, you ask?
"Sa tingin ko challenging kasi eh." Rieza confidently replied. It's always a good sign when a competitor wants to challenge himself, right?
Rieza has quietly helped UE to their best record in years, with a chance to end the season with four wins, surpassing their win total from the last two seasons. While this year won't be the year that UE returns to the Final Four, they're banking on their experiences this season, coupled with the talent that they have to make a solid run in Season 80.
For his part, Rieza knows that he's still got a long way to go and a lot more to learn.
"Siguro bilang goalkeeper, mas kailangan ko pa i-improve yung confidence ko,"
More importantly, Rieza knows that to make the next step, he's going to need someone to guide him along the way.
"Yung sa training, kailangan ko talaga magkaron ng trainer, para mas ma-hasa yung talent ko sa pag-kekeeper."