LEE DUSTS OFF HIS GLOVES
The 35-year-old, former Watford and Brentford keeper is a mentor for young goalkeepers through his work for sports management company Refuel Performance Management, including our on loan keeper Nick Hayes and is also heavily involved in a goalkeeper training company, GK Icon.
"It's essential for keepers go out on loan and the lower you go, the harder it is," Lee said. 'At Old Trafford, it could be a wet, wintry horrible night, but the stadium shields you. You're playing on a carpet ... It's easier in the Premier League than in the Southern Premier. There, you'll come up against a 6ft 5in striker jumping with his knees up."
Lee says the new crop of keepers need to have a positive mind-set, if they are to achieve their goals. "It's very easy as a goal-keeper, and I fell into this trap of playing a game not to make a mistake, instead of going out to make yourself the hero," he said. "You have to express yourself"
As for Lee himself, he's about to put on the gloves for one last time to help one of his protégés. He mentors promising Ipswich shot-stopper Nick Hayes, who is on loan at Dunstable Town. However, the 18-year-old is unavailable for Tuesday night's league game at Bishop's Stortford because he has been called up for an England youth training camp.
Dunstable would need to bring in a new keeper on a minimum 28-day loan - and that would mean they wouldn't be able to afford to extend Hayes' loan, too. To safeguard the youngster's position, Lee had the 'brainwave' to plug the gap for one game. He said: “I have always kept myself in shape and I've have a couple of training sessions before the game. I'm not 100 per cent physically fit, but I can get myself in a space. I will try to inject a bit of confidence into the back four and see If I can inspire them. I'm really excited about it. I've had a few injuries in the past, but it’s just a single game and I’ll give it my all."
As for Hayes, Lee is confident he has the tools to carve out a successful career in the game and believes the experience he is getting in Non- League is invaluable. "He can be anything he wants to be," said Lee "I'm really enjoying working with some promising keepers and Nick is so dedicated to what he does. He eats, drinks and sleeps football. He’s got the England call up and he's very highly rated at Ipswich. Nick is loving his time at Dunstable and his goal is to get more and more experience."