5 ELITE SUNDAY LEAGUE GOALKEEPERS

Written by Ricky Carroll


1) BIG G - SE DONS

BIG G is the captain every club wants and needs! He leads by example in demanding the best from himself and his teammates. He often saves what many describe as the unsavable. He dominates on crosses into the box, and his shot-stopping is exemplary. Many opposition strikers have been through one on one with BIG G, and when he's bearing down on you, many have crumbled.

Countless times, he's made vital penalty saves in 90 minutes and in penalty shootouts. He's the perfect example of a captain. He's vocal in organising his defence. I credit him with the best goalkeeping performance I've seen in Sunday League football in the 2-1 Paul Pickard cup final win over Kenningwell United in 2019.


2) MARTIN ARNAUCHKOV- HATCH LANE FC


What a season it was for the Hatch Lane number one! Martin has impressed greatly throughout this historic treble-winning season. His consistency throughout the season has been vital to Hatch. Martin has this ability to excel in the big games. His save from Zak Ansah in the London cup was unbelievable. Zak hit the shot perfectly, and it was heading for the top corner, but Martin had other ideas.

He was exceptional in the London cup final, especially in the second half, keeping Trabz at bay making several key stops. Hatch lane played Eastway Athletic in the Senior cup semi-final. Hatch was 1-0 up, but Eastway created a great opportunity to equalise. Martin was going the wrong way to where the shot was going, but he adjusted his feet brilliantly to tip the ball away from danger! Every successful team needs a great goalkeeper - and Hatch has theirs in Martin Arnauchkov.


3) JOSHUA HENDER- KITCHENER TAVERNERS



Safe Hands once again enjoyed a superb season where his abilities shone through for Kitch. Despite a double-winning year, there were some challenging times for Kitch this season - but one constant for them has been the impressive performances of their number 1.

He is a superb shot-stopper. Hender proves his class year after year. When you are playing in a team that often dominates most teams they play, a goalkeeper doesn't tend to have much to do. When Hender is needed his class shines through every single time. Every successful team has a goalkeeper as that last line of defence, and Hender is a brilliant last line of defence. He has exceptional anticipation, which enables him to come out and snuff out any danger. He's pulled out some magnificent saves throughout his time at Kitch and promises to be a vital player for them for many seasons to come!


4) OLIVER PAIN - HATCHAM FC

Hatcham, under the stewardship of Andrew Dalhouse and Jamie Leggett, have enjoyed a renaissance and pushed Se Dons to the wire in the OBDSFL title race. Hatchams defence was often difficult to breach last season. They only conceded 12 goals in 18 league games. A vital reason for them only conceding 12 goals was the brilliant form of their goalkeeper, Oliver Pain!

Oliver has enjoyed a brilliant season where his shot-stopping abilities have shone throughout the season. Oli is a commanding presence in goal, and a vital player in the dressing room. The wealth of experience he brings to the squad is invaluable.


Hatcham is a brilliant possession-based team, so there can be parts of games where Pain is a spectator. But whenever called upon, he has been consistently impressive. He has proven this season what a vital player he is.

5) ALEXANDRU GAVRILOAIA - HIGHGATE ALBION


The importance of Alexandru to Highgate cannot be understated. He's the last line of defence in a Highgate side who are constantly competing every season, in all competitions. The consistency he offers is vital to Highgate. He often acts as a sweeper. You will regularly see Gavriloaia race out and mop up any dangerous through balls from the opposition.

Highgate dominates most opposition, so sometimes Gaviloaia is left with little to do but when called upon, he often shows his class. He's a superb shot-stopper. He is equally comfortable with the ball at his feet. He's a born winner - and this rubs off onto his teammates. Gaviloaia is a Highgate legend and a massive part of the Highgate Albion squad - and he belongs in the elite category of Sunday league goalkeepers!