In Part 2 we will delve back into playing days and the odd tale or two of a bygone era in football, both in England and Australia.
?Big Ron? has been involved with his own business for many years as an independent Transport Contractor dealing with major freight companies around the globe so if anyone can get something shifted he is the very chap for the job, just ask Adam Hughes.
Adam who you ask?
Hughes was a promising youngster down at Wollongong Wolves when Ron was invited to become the goalkeeper coach by then manager, and good friend, Adrian Alston and spotted something in the lad that marked him out. He arranged a few trials overseas and was eventually signed by Bournemouth and thence went to Doncaster Rovers in England before heading over to the Irish League where he still plies the trade today. The original plan was to have him go over and get into what is referred as a ?full time mind set? whereby the player finds out exactly what it is like to be a professional footballer by partaking in the training and lifestyle of one instead of having a full time job and part time playing career as is prevalent in many countries.
?He is still over there and doing well and I speak with him regularly,? notes Tilsed with a certain amount of satisfaction.
Now the goalkeeper coach with the Sutherland Sharks in the Telechoice Premier league, the benefits have seen Phillip Zabaks and Matt Brandalise really come to the fore this term and much of this can be put down to the training regime adopted by the man who has worked with and been trained by some of the greats: ?I?ve picked up many training tips over the years from guys I?ve played with like Bob Wilson (Arsenal) and Peter Shilton (various) who played for Scotland and England respectively, and it has given me a sound basis for what is required to be a goalkeeper.?
Indeed, watching Zabaks and Brandalise go through their paces is something to behold but Tilsed has always adopted the approach that each procedure is repeated five times, just as it was when he played: ?Repeating everything 5-times is the key, it?s not too long or short but gives a really good workout,? he says.
What looks quite odd at times is really an exercise in stretching and this involves several moves such as catching the ball whilst sat on the ground and turning from side to side, laying on the stomach and catching/releasing somewhat like a sea lion and various other positions all designed to get the maximum stretch possible while having to react quickly, something a keeper needs to hone the reflexes.
Once the warm up is over it comes down to handling crosses, usually with a striker or two to make life difficult and simulate actual game time conditions, and then onto kicking practice where it soon becomes apparent the key is not to simply hoof it up the pitch but to pick out a team mate and aim to get it to him chest high.
Tilsed was also goalkeeper coach for Frank Arok, then Australia coach, in 1985 after adorning the fledgling NSL since 1977 when brought over by the late great Johnny Warren, something we will look at in the final episode, for Canberra, which Ron looks back on nostalgically as it began the start of a true friendship and something that touches the man deeply to this day.
Spending a short time back in England when his mother was seriously ill, Tilsed returned to Australia and the Gold Coast where he picked up his Transport Contractor business before coming back to Sydney and settling in the Shire at Grays Point with his wife and children and was then invited to join up with the Sharks by Brian Brown and alongside Cliff Pointer and Alan McNair.
It is at Seymour Shaw Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6.30pm that any aspiring goalkeeper can go along and pick up tips by simply watching or approaching Ron and, if passionate and eager enough, receive specialised coaching. But this is a part of what Tilsed does as he is also involved with the U/14, U16, U18 and U/20 sides as well as the first team.
Add to this the work he does with the Johnny Warren Foundation for Football whereby it?s not only about giving specialised goalkeeping coaching clinics it is designed to help spot and nurture future talent and this is something Tilsed is extremely passionate about: ?It?s not just about clinics but ex-players putting something back into grass roots football and using their wealth of experience to help the youngsters in being the best they can be.
?That is something we can see has had a tangible effect in Australia and throughout the world and there should be more ex-professionals employed by clubs to do this as it really is a crime to let that knowledge go to waste.?
After winning the ?little? World Cup in 1971 with England and having the world seemingly at his feet, strange when you think a goalkeepers best asset is his hands surely?, his sentiment has substance and logic that is hard to disagree with.
In the final part of this trilogy we look at players, teams, good times and bad and the success of this modest, quietly spoken self made man, enjoy a few laughs and maybe shed a tear or two but one thing is certain, Ron Tilsed is a wit, a raconteur and gentleman and there are far too few of us left these days.
-By Micky Brock