From the Pros
I found Lee very approachable and Professional about the way he goes about his business, his knowledge and enthusiasm for goalkeeping was something I found impressive. Working with Evolution and their high standard of coaches will not only help improve and develop your game but all aspects of goalkeeping. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
— Darryl Flahavan (Southampton FC, Southend United FC, Crystal Palace FC, Leeds United FC, Oldham Athletic FC, Portsmouth FC, Bournemouth FC and Crawley Town FC. Current 1st team Goalkeeper Coach at Middlesbrough FC)
Evolution are very professional in how they go about all aspects of their business. Good quality coaching that is already producing a high standard of goalkeepers.
— Jamie Ashdown (Reading FC, Portsmouth FC, Norwich City FC, Leeds United FC, Crawley Town FC, Oxford United FC)
This year’s National Goalkeeping Conference, which took place at Slaley Hall near Hexham, provided those who attended a fantastic blend of theory, practical sessions and speakers that allowed every participant to have an engaging and unique goalkeeping experience.
Whether those attending were just starting out on the goalkeeper coaching journey or to learn current best practices to improve on their well established coaching methodology, it was impossible to not take something away from two days filled with an array of headline presenters from the world of goalkeeping.
The broad mix of experienced international squad goalkeeper coaches to world renowned Premier League first team and academy coaches, offered insights on current trends and practices that could be adapted and used across all levels and formats of the game.
The opportunity to mix with coaches from around the globe involved in both the Women’s and Men’s game was also an added bonus for those who were fortunate enough to mingle and network during the two days.
As a presenter at the conference, it was an honour to be in such distinguished company and a privilege to spend two days linking up and exchanging ideas with so many like minded individuals and I for one can’t wait, whether presenting or not, to be able to share two fantastic days at the next National Goalkeeping Conference, whenever that may be!
— Tony Elliott
I recently presented at the summer event for Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching. The event was extremely well organised with coaches from various backgrounds, being prepared to share knowledge and experiences. The course was supported by coaches from all parts of the professional game, who could give an excellent insight into their individual roles. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the event and would recommend you place the event in your calendar for 2019.
— Eric Steele
Evolution are very professional in the way they do there business, sessions look very interesting and enjoyable. There is a lot of talented Young Goalkeepers, hopefully they will become very good Goalkeepers with the help of Evolution.
— Max Stryjek (Sunderland AFC)
The level of professionalism at Evolution is second to none across the board, both on and off the pitch. You can see that with the calibre of Goalkeepers they are producing.
— Rachael Laws (Sunderland Ladies FC, England Ladies)
I have experienced over 100 professional appearances in Scotland and England, the value of good coaching was vital to that, most importantly for me is the mental side of the game. Goalkeeping is a specialist individual position and recovering from set backs is the hardest part, having the availability of a coach who believes in you and trains you to be the best you can be at whatever ability is vital for any young goalkeeper. I have fortunately worked with some of the best coaches in Scotland and when returning to the North East I was brought back from the wilderness by Lee Barrass who encouraged me to stay in the game and provided me with coaching and regained my confidence in organising clubs to come in for me, 2 years on I am the number one at Whitley Bay FC playing regularly in the Northern League Division One. At Evolution they pride themselves on the Development of all their Goalkeepers at all levels.
— Thomas Flynn (Hibernian FC, Alloa FC, Albion Rovers FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Alfreton FC)
I found Lee only a year after I started as a goalkeeper with no specific coaching his coaching helped me develop the basics of goalkeeping which you need as a foundation to move forward in the game as you get older. After a short while working with Lee he helped me by contacting bigger clubs which was a big factor starting off my career at Newcastle. I had regular coaching there as apposed Evolution but returned there for a short while at an older age in order to develop my basic skills such as handling and footwork as I felt as I moved through the age groups, playing a lot of the time for the age above it was becoming harder to maintain good consistency with the game been faster all of the time this really gave me the solidity and professionalism technically as a goalkeeper to allow myself to perform at u23 level consistently to return to Evolution for help as there sessions were so enjoyable and kept everyone involved and were fun yet challenging for goalkeepers of all levels.
— Nathan Harker (Newcastle United, U23s)
I didn’t know what to expect when Lee invited me to a training session. I had recently been training with the likes of Shay Given, Brad Guzan and Ben Alnwick and coached by Terry Genoe and Jimmy Walker. However the sessions which he put on and the way he delivered the drills and explained why these exercises helped the goalkeeper was just as professional as what I had been used to. Not only did the drills help the older and more experienced keepers but they also benefited the younger goalkeepers too as he knew how to adapt the sessions. I was happy to go along and train with Lee as it was a level of professionalism that I wasn’t expecting outside the professional game. It has also helped my game and has also made me start a career in coaching, I highly recommend the standard that Evolution bring they are 1st class would encourage all Goalkeepers at all levels to attend.
— Aiden Grant (Newcastle FC, Aston Villa FC, Peterborough FC, Lincoln City FC and Corby Town FC)
Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching is an excellent place to be to develop as a Goalkeeper. Lee and the team work tirelessly to help Goalkeepers improve and advance their abilities, the level of coaching is 2nd to none.
— Daniel Lloyd Weston (West Brom FC, Port Vale FC, Cheltenham Town FC and South Port FC)
Lee is an outstanding coach that is well education in the sport and is thought of very highly. He dedicates himself to making the keepers he works with better. He’s been there from me from being realised from Carlisle and has helped me all the way to my move to America. everything he does is for the keepers he is very trustworthy and always there for you and his coaching ability speaks for itself, highly recommend Evolution.
— Lewis Brass (Ex-Carlisle United)
I have had the pleasure of knowing Lee for quite a few years and would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone. He is extremely passionate about goalkeeping and helping goalkeepers of all ages to improve. He provides professional quality sessions that are structured and fun. He always goes the extra mile for his goalkeepers and has helped me numerous times throughout my career from advice to training and helping to secure me a club. I appreciate all the help he has given me and I know I won’t be the only one that Evolution continue to help.
— Nick Liversedge (Darlington FC and Burnley FC)
I’ve worked with Lee for many years now from my times in professional football and then into semi pro football he is a fantastic coach who has helped me with coaching but also has good connections within the professional game. I have been coached by Lee and also worked alongside him and believe he can adjust his ways of coaching to suit any needs from professional Goalkeepers to young kids starting out. He has a very professional approach and will go out his way to help people succeed. Evolution is a breath of fresh air as they really are professional in what they do.
— Adam Mcugh (St. Mirren FC, Hartlepool FC, Forest Green Rovers FC)
After joining Newport County at the age of 19, I was fortunate enough to work with Ryan for two seasons at the club. In this time we built a great sporting relationship on and off the pitch.
Ryan was able to help in my transition from a different type of football that I was used to at academy level and helped me to progress and become a professional football league goalkeeper in which I was prepared for different styles and tactics. We worked on all strengths and weaknesses and were able to achieve top results when called upon to play. I built a more rounded game, without trying to take away certain assets I felt were important to my game and style as a keeper and Ryan was supportive in this for me.
— Jamie Stephens (Barnet FC, ex Liverpool and Newport County AFC Goalkeeper)
During my time at Newport county, Ryan was a huge help to me not only on the training pitch but off it as well. He understood what I needed to do to keep me in shape as a 30 year old but also understood what I needed to hear, which from a mental side is very important.
— Lenny Pidgeley (ex Chelsea FC, Newport County FC, England U21s)
I started training at Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching with James Howarth and I thoroughly enjoy every session. He has pushed me even harder than I thought possible. As a keeper id recommend James as his work rate and intensity are that to push and improve me in my game. I feel more confident after a good session with him and didn’t feel at all out of place as he made me feel really at ease, even in the first few sessions. All the previous clubs i played at provided no goalkeeper coaching and I think it’s really important that clubs do make goalkeeper coaching more available to girls too. I’d recommend James for all levels of coaching as he does a brilliant job with all the different drills and techniques that he covers during a session.
— Abbie Richardson (Hartlepool Ladies 1st Team)
It was great to see such a good turn out of coaches for the Evolution Goalkeeper Coach Education day. A well organised event with lots of integration between Lead Coaches, Goalkeepers and attendees. I’m looking forward to more of these events and seeing Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching helping more young players and coaches around the country.
— Andy Quy (Goalkeeping Coach at Stoke City)
From the Players
James is easily one of the best coaches I’ve ever known, he spots the little things I can do to improve such as positioning of my foot when I dive. Everything is done so much that in time it becomes instinctive and it made me a much better Goalkeeper.
— Lee Rogers
Evolution holds very good goalkeeping training. I found James’ training very beneficial and improved my game a lot, if you’re looking for a good standard goalkeeping session Evolution is the one for you.
— Mackenzie Matthews
Training sessions are brilliant really enjoyed it and always learn new things top top Goalkeeper Coach James cant wait for the next training session really would recommend it really enjoyed it.
— Adam McGuiness
I have been training with James now for quite a while and I can see myself the progression that has been made from when I started in goal.
— Jack Dunn
Lee Barrass is definitely one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with, I have worked with him for around 2 years now and his sessions have always been of top quality, not just great coaching but the sessions are enjoyable and you always learn a lot when it comes to the end of the session. The work Evolution coaching is doing is absolutely amazing, providing excellent Goalkeeper coaching to kids all around in the North East, for all age groups and abilities. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who either wants coaching for themselves or one of there children. Good luck to Evolution for the future and thank you for your service.
— Michael Stephenson
Best Coach about, taught me some key tips whats made me become a lot better Goalkeeper.
— Ryan Hodgson
From the Coaches
Being part of Evolution is amazing, what a team to be around, experienced, qualified and total goalkeepers cut us in half and goalkeeping is in our blood. What a place for any goalkeeper of any stage of ability, real coaches and real goalkeeping people.
— Lee Barrass
Currently Coaching at Coxhoe and Sunderland Academies. For me as a coach everything is about the girls and boys who attend Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching. Sessions are structured to help improve development in all aspects of a Goalkeeper. As long as the children are learning, improving and enjoying what I do, it makes it all worth while. Without all the children who attend all of our sessions, there would be no use for us.
— Dean Simpson
Having worked with various grass roots clubs coaching their goalkeepers of varying ages and abilities I was asked by James if I would be interested in taking a few sessions for Evolution Goalkeeping Coaching, my first session was a mixed group of varying ages and abilities, I was pleasantly surprised at the standard of the kids that attended the session and their enthusiasm as well as how they listened to any comments that I suggested.
I myself who have been coaching for over 15 years and for the past 4 years for Middlesbrough FC enjoyed the session that much that I have continued with the group and have gone from a 1 hour session to 2 hours, the same group of kids as well as fresh faces who have improved massively and are constantly pushing each other on the achieve more always leaving a session with a sweat on and a huge smile on their face.
This has shown as one of the kids is now in my session on a Thursday night with Middlesbrough FC and he is being lined up to play at one of the upcoming trial games. Since joining Evolution Goalkeeping I have thoroughly enjoyed every session and look forward to tasking the kids with mastering something new in every session.
“The last line of defence and the first way of attack.”
— Paul Pringle
Evolution Goalkeeper Coaching is a great set up for young children to improve their Football skills, as not only are the sessions well prepared and designed for the children to vastly improve their skills, they are also made so that they can have fun whilst training too. As a coach of Evolution I’ve seen first hand myself the effects and improvement in the Football ability of the children who have attended these sessions put on by coaches, not only that, there has also been positive feedback from the parents to say how these sessions have helped. The Coaches are also very friendly with each other and easy to get along with which makes the sessions easier to run. For any young, aspiring coach who is considering going down the path of coaching, I would say this is a great company to get started with.
— Shaun Macdonald
Working for Evolution has been great, its a good start for all young coaches and for young Goalkeepers wanting to improve and have fun.
— Sam Guthrie
Very good standard of coaching and would definitely recommend young Goalkeepers with aspirations for the game to get in touch and work with the tremendous set of coaches Evolution have to offer.
— Kieren Proctor
The level of professionalism at Evolution is second to none across the board, both on and off the pitch. You can see that with the calibre of Goalkeepers they are producing.
— Rachael Laws
I enthusiastically encourage any goalkeepers from the North East to attend Evolution sessions – you won’t be disappointed. I extend this to any aspiring coaches in the region, too. You will be thoroughly looked after with top class kit and facilities. I can’t recommend the company enough. It’s one of the best professional decisions I’ve made.
— Ryan Mackerness
I worked with the staff on a recent training camp and found it a great environment to work in. The staff are friendly and approachable, and have the attention of the participants who are learning skills from brilliant coaches. Evolution are a great company to be a part of.
— Ian Murray
From the Parents
Aaron’s started his journey as a Goalkeeper 2 years ago at the Michael Barron Academy where James was Aaron’s coach for quite some time. Two years on As a family we have learned it’s important to get your child the best in GK training you possibly can but you can become very naive if you are just starting out so be careful.
Locally I can honestly say James is one of the best GK coaches around. He has not just played the game at a high level, which some haven’t but he is a strong people person around children youth and adults. His technical skills are excellent and he sees things in individuals that most don’t therefore challenges his goalkeepers to the highest level.
It’s important to note he is very professional and passionate about what he does and Aaron and us as parents will always continue to use James in the future. Now Aaron is at Sunderland Academy we really do owe allot to the coaches on Aaron’s journey like James.
James is a strong part of that and even when not coaching he always has made contact to make sure Aaron is doing okay.
James could not come recommended enough from Aaron and us. Top top coaching at its best.
— Carlie Sings
My son Ross (under 9s) has attended quite a few sessions with James at his academy’s. Always comes away very happy at what he’s learned from James Howarth excellent positive approach to his training sessions.
For Ross although he is a SAFC academy player and trains hard there it’s great to have sessions with a coach like James who offer him something different at his sessions which is great for Ross’s further development.
If you want your child to develop as a player and a person James and evolution has a great set up and your child WILL become a better keeper.
— David Adby
My son Evan started as a goalkeeper a few years ago, while at a group training session, Evan clicked with one of the coaches straight away. The coach was James Howarth, after a few more group sessions I took the next step of approaching James about having private sessions. James is a great coach and quickly developed a close bond with Evan, which helped in the training. James is very professional and strives to get the best out of each goalkeeper in each session, his sessions were fun, while always making Evan work hard to help him achieve something in each session. I could not recommend James enough.
— David Jones
My daughter attends James sessions with one other keeper. These are very productive, his training technique and unique drills make the sessions really interesting. He also works the keepers at high intensity which again is nice to see. She has been playing and training for 10 years and has been trained by some of the best gk coaches in the area. James is definitely a cut above, with his fantastic coaching. His sessions are the best she has attended locally. Im a firm believer in giving a child the best training and chances when stood in between the goal posts and would definitely recommend James for any level of training for any level of keeping.
— Jill Marshall
Jenny only just started playing in goal at the beginning of October, she agreed to go in goal because no one else volunteered to so that her team mate could have a run outfield. Needless to say she got well and truly bitten by the goal keeping bug especially after being awarded player of the match in her first two matches in goal. Since she started with Evolution her confidence has increased, and that was evident after her first session with Terry. She loves her sessions with Terry and looks forward to them every week.
— Alisa Bennett
My son has been playing in goal for a little while, although he enjoys it, it was obvious that he was finding it difficult when goals were scored and his confidence was being affected.
We looked at what was available in our area to support him and discovered evolution.
He has only been with Evolution for just over a month but already we’ve noticed a dramatic change in his confidence. He’s happier on match days even if goals are scored and thoroughly enjoys attending the coaching sessions with Dean.
— Lisa Stoker
My 8 year old Son attended goalkeeper coaching sessions with Evolution as we wanted to develop his technique and increase his confidence in order to support his development within his team. The sessions were well delivered with good use of training aides and it was apparent they were well thought out and planned in advance, focusing on technique but in a fun, non pressured environment. My Son gained a lot from the sessions and his confidence improved significantly which was evident during match play, where practice on the training pitch shone through. I would recommend Evolution for aspiring goalkeepers of all ages.
— Darren Youll
Started my 9 year old daughter with Evolution a couple of weeks ago at Dunston. In that short time with Lee her handling and confidence has rapidly improved. They’re continuously kept on the go at the sessions and she absolutely loves it – so well worth the £ in my opinion.
— Steven Grant French
I have a young Under 7’s keeper who started with 0 goalkeeping experience and was scared of the ball, from the first two sessions attended with James he became a goalkeeper; from then till now he is diving coming out to the ball catching and doing everything a keeper should at that age. Credit to you James Howarth for what you have done to my little No1.
— Stephen Kyle
Really impressed with the professionalism of coaching. Ben has only been there 4 weeks and it feels like he has been there a lifetime such is the welcome he has received. Ben started playing in goal then stopped and wanted to try again, decided to send him along and he now says he doesn’t want to play anywhere else. The coaching is well tailored and allows kids to work on areas of there game they feel they need to improve, as an example Ben yesterday worked on narrowing the angle and footwork.
— Daniel Minto
The training at Evolution has been structured to challenge the goalkeepers and keep them learning and continuing to improve. Training is tailored around their ability and a “can do” approach appropriate to their individual needs. I would recommend Evolution coaching.
— Vicky Barret Leech
My son Joseph was coached by James earlier in the year at Jarrow and really loved it, the drills really tested his ability to the limits and has massively progressed to the next level where he needed to be at his club, we have tried a few other goalkeeper coaches but they haven’t come anywhere near to James’s coaching drills and techniques thanks again.
— Paul Robson
Best goal keeper training by far, small groups so get a lot more done, couldn’t ask for a better coach in dean. The kids listen and respect him which is fab. My son is very shy and doesn’t really like to get involved with new group and teams always takes him a few weeks to settle but with this group now he straight down on pitch waiting, My son has came on fantastic since starting evolution. As I don’t think goalies get enough training in there team. Also he has had 6 clean sheets in his last 6 games and man of the match and been promoted to division 5.
— Stacey Butler
My son has had 1 to 1 coaching with James for a while now, James is great with him and has built a real friendship. He has developed my son’s goalkeeping skills greatly, but the one thing that totally stands out is how much more confidence my son now has whilst in goal, and it’s all down to James great work!
— Samantha Rodgers
My son Jackson loves attending James’ goalkeeper coaching sessions. At the age of 5 he has came on leaps and bounds as James adapted his approach to make the sessions more fun and engaging for him. Many thanks to James and Dean for the time and effort they put in to their coaching sessions, would certainly recommend to anyone that is interested.
— Gavin Bennett
Exemplary coaching by Evolution, I’ve seen the improvements in my son week on week since joining James’s sessions. The coaching is well planned out, fun yet structured, focused on technique, positioning and decision making and designed to improve all levels of ‘keepers. Great job guys!
— Victoria Saiger
Very engaging and active sessions. Kept the blood pumping, brains ticking and faces smiling. Also technically very good exercises where benefits have already been witnessed less than 1 week in from first session.
Best goalkeeper tutoring attended in the region and will be returning. Has taken my sons interest from casual enjoyment to strong desire to pursue.
— Maureen Hudspith Collier