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The session with Watkins took place at Aston Villa’s training ground before the rest of the squad returned for pre-season.
“He has set himself a goal target this season. It is about that repetition so he is more confident of hitting that target. He just wants to improve.”
Elliott also used the summer in the hope of gaining a head start. “He wanted to get some work in before Liverpool went away. We worked on repetition with his finishing. He has a really good shot on him now and I hope this will be a real breakthrough season.”
These are just two of his clients but there are many more at the elite level. “A lot of the other players who I work with do not want me to mention their name because they want it to be confidential,” Chickelday explains. “I work with a hell of a lot of players.”
That might surprise some given that the top clubs tend to have this stuff covered. Nutrition is micro-managed.
Liverpool even use a throw-in coach. So, why are these stars seeking one-on-one sessions with Chickelday, the 46-year-old coach of Billericay Women?
“It was a chance meeting,” he explains. “I was on holiday and met an American Football coach. He was talking about the coaches they have there for every specific position. I was telling him that in England we have only really got a goalkeeper coach.”
He identified a gap in the market and had the experience, having also coached at academy level with Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers, to pull it off. “There was a real niche for it.
Players noticed that I had started doing it and it just went crazy, if I am honest.”