Champions League keeper and Liverpool F.C. coach visits Sportsplex Bakersfield

Dutch footballer and Liverpool F.C. goalkeeper coach John Achterberg made an impromptu stop in Bakersfield on his way through California to talk about soccer with local kids.
coach john achterberg
Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 22, 2023

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County soccer community got a treat on Thursday afternoon when a world-class coach made his way to Sportsplex Bakersfield to share his knowledge of the sport with local kids.

John Achterberg spent the first part of his career playing as goalkeeper for various teams in his native Netherlands and is now the goalkeeper coach for the English Premier League's Liverpool F.C., and when the team at Sportsplex Bakersfield found out he was in California, they knew they needed to make a call.

The Champions League winner was able to come out to Bakersfield for a last-minute goalie clinic with local athletes.

"I hoped to teach everything about technical tactical movements, really. You know, how to dive, how to move, not landing with the elbows on the floor, attacking balls and put them in a good technical shape, because if you're in a good technical shape, you will make fewer mistakes in the future than if you have no technical stage shape," said Achterberg.

During the coach's 4-hour visit to Bakersfield, Achterberg tried to make an impact on every single kid, answering plenty of questions about all the trophies he has won. He stayed humble and credited his team for the success.

"As it comes, I just try to help them and give them information to the questions they ask. I never tried to really talk about the trophies the team won. I know I was part of it, but in the end, the team won and I tried to help as a coach, the goalies," said Achterberg. "You know, it's nice to win things, and hopefully we can do a lot more in the future."

To be certain, Achterberg did not have to come to Bakersfield, but for him, he values giving back to the game that has given him so much in life.

"My focus is on helping everyone in the goalkeeping part. If it's coaches, goalies, boys, girls, it doesn't matter. They all can work and improve, and I give my knowledge to anyone who wants to learn."