Goalkeeping coach James Bannatyne was expecting a good turnout for the first specialist goalkeeping course he has run in the Western Bay.
But the 46 young goalkeepers and 20 coaches who turned up at Links Avenue on Wednesday exceeded all his expectations.
"The age band of the players there was from 8 to 16-years-old but most of the goalkeepers were 10 and 11 which is probably their first exposure to specialist goalkeeping coaching," Bannatyne said.
"There was some really good talent there that looked to have some really good qualities so that was really pleasing. If they stick at it and nail the basics for a few years that will stand them in good stead.
"From a coaching perspective there were five or six that helped out with the early coaching session I hadn't met before so it was fantastic to have them there supporting all of the goalkeepers.
"I am trying to build a network of coaches and goalkeepers so we can improve that over time."
Bannatyne has been looking forward to running the clinic since beginning his role with WaiBOP Football Federation in January.
"I guess I was pretty excited by putting on some specialist work for goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches in Tauranga," he said.
"I know there is a real need out there but to get that number of people just really emphasises that. "There is only one goalkeeper per team and obviously there are 10 outfield players so the goalkeeper often does get left to their own devices a little bit. It is often difficult to get specialist coaching.
We would certainly like to do more in the future with a view to developing more and better goalkeepers from the region.
"My motivation with the support of WaiBOP Football, New Zealand Football and Oceania is to increase the awareness and importance of the role. I also help with the coach education.
"We would certainly like to do more in the future with a view to developing more and better goalkeepers from the region."
Next up for Western Bay goalkeepers is the New Zealand Football level one goalkeeping license course that Bannatyne will run later this season.