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Bogdan : It was like trying to train a wild horse

Fred Barber lifts the lid on discovering Adam Bogdan at his Pro-SK Goalkeeping Camps. The Ex-BWFC, Liverpool and Hungarian International who is now performing at Hibs.

Pro-SK Director Fred Barber believes Adam Bogdan would never have achieved his Premier League dream move to Liverpool had he not laid down the law to him in his early years.

“Adam appeared at one of our goalkeeper training camps. In those days, clubs would send their keepers to the goalkeeping camps for extra training. I could tell he’d had some goalkeeper coaching but was raw around the edges. “

“We had to get through a lot of hard work with Adam in the early days. It was like trying to train a wild horse at times “

Barber explained, “I was working for Bolton at the time goalkeeper coaching and Sammy Lee had sent Adam into one of our goalkeeping camps for evaluation. He was playing for his local club in Hungary where the club structure, leagues and standards are different. Player’s sometimes come in and think that football is the same all over the world; but it isn’t. Sometimes he’d turn up at training wearing a headband. He’d say it was to keep his hair out of his eyes. I was constantly telling him to get it cut.”

Barber makes no apologies for dishing out some tough love at times. “It’s good to keep them grounded ” – and points to his successful track record in unearthing raw talent at his goalkeeping camps and developing them into some the games top-flight goalkeepers.

“It was hard for Adam; he was competing with Jussi & Ali Al-Habsi for a place in the team. I kept telling him that they’d gone through the same goalkeeper training and he needed to be patient because his time would come.”

Barber’s words of wisdom rang true when Bogdan made his premier league debut for the Wanderers in 2010. He gained full international honours in 2011 and was voted Hungary’s player of the year in 2012. The young lad who first appeared as raw talent at the goalkeeping camp would establish himself as the number 1 choice and make over 120 appearances for the Wanderers before being signed by premiership giants Liverpool in 2015.

“It didn’t work out for Adam at Liverpool. I think Brendan Roger’s took him there to put pressure on Simon Mignolet who was going through a rough spell. I know Adam had a few injuries at Liverpool and would have liked to play more. Mignolet would have needed to perform at his peak to keep Adam from claiming top spot.”

In 2019 Bogdan moved to Scottish Premier League outfit Hibernian where he currently remains.

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