From Garth Hill to England’s number one: When Mary Earps coached FC Bracknell’s youngsters

Mary Earps. Photo: Neil Graham.
Mary Earps. Photo: Neil Graham.

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She’s been impressive when called upon in the Women’s Euro’s this summer for England’s Lionesses, but did you know goalkeeper Mary Earps once spent time passing on her shot-stopping wisdom to some of Bracknell’s young stars.

Formerly number one at Reading FC Women before joining Vfl Wolfsburg, Earps’ coaching business spent time with the budding goalkeepers of FC Bracknell.

Nottingham-born Earps became new Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman’s starting goalkeeper in September 2021 and has played all three England matches at the Euros against Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland, keeping clean sheets in all three games.

Now at Manchester United, Earps made 34 FA Women’s Super League appearances between 2016 and 2018 for Reading having previously been with Bristol City.

In 2016, the England number one spent some time helping to coach FC Bracknell’s goalkeepers at Garth Hill College. Speaking at the time Earps said: “Thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s NextLevelGK session at Garth Hill College. Great energy and focus from all the ‘keepers!”

Mary Earps coaching the FC Bracknell youngsters. Photo: Neil Graham.
Mary Earps coaching the FC Bracknell youngsters. Photo: Neil Graham.

FC Bracknell chairman Neil Graham had fond memories of Earps’ time helping his youngsters: “FC Bracknell always strives to bring new ideas to its Youth members and one part of coaching that always to gets overlooked is goalkeeping.

“With this in mind, we approached Reading FC Women’s Mary Earps in 2016 with a view of providing the club with some expert coaching for our Youth keepers. At this time Mary had her own coaching company called Next Level Goalkeeping.

“Mary and FC Bracknell continued to work together until her move to Vfl Wolfsburg in 2018. Even today, those young keepers that were tutored under Mary, have fond memories and great respect for England’s number one.”

The session was live streamed on the club’s Facebook page which you can watch below.

Reading has had three current players at the Euros this summer in Amalie Eikland of Norway, Belgium midfielder Justine Vanhaevermaet and Denmark’s Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen. As well as Earps in the England squad, Fran Kirby is another former Royal representing the Lionesses this summer.

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