Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Decorated Goalkeeper Callum Irving Gets Better with Age

uk logo 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/26/14) — It is common that good goalkeepers don't hit their peak until their late 20s, early 30s.

It is a position that require vocal leadership, quick thinking and a mature physical presence.

In his third season in between the pipes for the Kentucky men's soccer team, Callum Irving is developing into one of the best goalkeepers in college soccer.

Coming off a first-team All-Conference USA season as a sophomore, Irving enters the 2014 season with high hopes of taking the next step in his development, while helping lead the Wildcats back to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence.

With a stated goal of allowing 18 goals or less on the year, Irving and the Wildcats have high hopes for a strong defensive unit. With a back four featuring returning starters Jordan Wilson and Kaelon Fox at center back and Charlie Reymann at outside back, the strength of the UK roster appears to be in its defense.

Part of a strong defensive unit involves a vocal leader in goal, a role that Irving is embracing as a third-year standout.

"It is massive to be a vocal goalkeeper," Irving said. "As a keeper I have to be loud and commanding because I can see everything on the field. I need to be able to help guys out whenever I can. They also need to be able to let me know when I am doing things wrong or when I need to help them in certain areas. The communication with me, and not just the backline but with the entire team, is really important to keep things cohesive."

A 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, Irving has been tabbed a team captain for the 2014 season, with UK third-year head coach Johan Cedergren employing a leadership council.

"It's a real honor," Irving said about being a team captain. "It is something I've wanted to do for a while. I am just happy that I have been able to be put in a position to be one of the leaders on this team. It is a big challenge with such a young squad but the guys have a lot of respect for each other and I think they respect me as a player and a person. I look forward to being able to share some of the tougher situations I've been through as a junior player and help the freshmen get past that learning curve so they can all have a good impact on our season."

In 2013, Irving entered the season as the backup to senior co-captain Jack Van Arsdale. Van Arsdale shined in 2012 after earning the job midway through the season. Irving moved into the starting role for the final 13 games of 2013, totaling 16 starts on the year and allowing 18 goals in 1484 minutes. He finished with a 1.09 goals-against average, the 11th-best total in program history, with his six shutouts ranking ninth.

Irving was voted by the league coaches to the C-USA first-team in 2013, marking the second first-team all-conference goalkeeper in UK history and the first since Andy Gruenebaum in 2005.

Irving enters 2014 having transformed his body and benefiting greatly from two years of experience for the Wildcats.

"Naturally I have physically matured quite a bit, putting on 30 pounds since my freshman year," Irving said. "Other than the physicality, it is just about being through different game scenarios. Being down, letting in own goals, making saves, there are a bunch of different scenarios that you go through and you learn from. For a keeper every game is a learning experience. Having a bunch of reps and having some game time has really helped me understand a lot of different scenarios, especially when it comes to college soccer, because it is a real different game from youth soccer. Being able to start leading the team has helped me mature and made me more calm at the back and have an expectation of what's going to come."

One of the keys to Irving's development has been the individual instruction from third-year goalkeeping coach David Casper.

"It has helped a ton," Irving said about his relationship with Casper. "It is great that we have a goalie coach that works with us every day. He puts in a ton of work on and off the field. He is one guy that is never satisfied, which is the best thing. Even if I had a good game, he will congratulate me, but we are still focused on the things that I did wrong in the game. He helps to keep me humble and keep me focused on always getting better and not being satisfied. No matter what he has always had my back. He is pretty big in getting me where I am."

As a freshman, Irving came in as a highly touted recruit out of Vancouver, British Columbia. In a preseason battle with Van Arsdale, Irving won the starting job for the season lidlifter at Dayton. He allowed four goals in a 4-3 loss but made six saves on 15 shots, making several jaw-dropping saves that left glimpses of his raw abilities.

Van Arsdale started the next two games before Irving returned to the starting lineup in Cedergren's first career win, posting a clean sheet vs. St. Joe's. After starting vs. No. 4 Charlotte and allowing a first-half tally, Irving gave way in the second half to Van Arsdale. The next game sparked a season turn around for the Wildcats, as Van Arsdale turned in a heroic effort in leading UK to a win at No. 18 Louisville, securing the starting job for the remainder of 2012, with UK earning an NCAA Tournament hosting berth.

"I learned how to bounce back from failure and realize that not everything is going to be handed to you," Irving said about what he learned as a freshman. "And you have to work to earn the respect from the people around you. It was a really good learning experience and I think it benefited me more than if I had played."

After resting the two-game exhibition schedule to open the year, Irving returned to the training pitch on Monday and is eager to get on the field for the season opener. Kentucky will open its 2014 season on Friday at Wright State at 7 p.m. ET.

The Wildcats will then open up the sparkling new Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex with Belmont Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

SurfKY News
Information provided by UK Athletics

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Mahr Park Committee Needs Volunteers for Repotting Blueberry Bushes

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/20/14) — The Mahr Park Planning Committee held its regularly scheduled meeting at the… Read More

Hopkins County Joins Nation in 'All Pinked Out'

MADISONVILLE Ky. (10/20/2014) - October is “All Pinked Out” as Breast Cancer Awareness Month is recognized and honored.… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 17, 2014 11595

UK Women's Soccer Welcomes Ole Miss, No. 5/4…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
October 20, 2014 4576

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 15, 2014 3652

Family Business, Graphics Pros to Open Friday

in Top News For All Sites by Shawn Freels
October 15, 2014 3505

Chamber Meeting and More Announced

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Dorothy Walker
October 17, 2014 3410

Single Vehicle Collision Results in One Injury

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S. C. Recke
October 15, 2014 3297

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 15, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 19, 2014 3284

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 15, 2014 2896

Woman Arrested for Domestic Dispute in the Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 17, 2014 2660

Woman Arrested at Taco Bell for DUI

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 16, 2014 2627

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 20, 2014 4576

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 20, 2014 2391

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 1733

Man Arrested for Shoplifting, Assaulting Police…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1672

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 20, 2014 1510

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
October 20, 2014 1401

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 20, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 1389

Paul Simon Headlines COPD Tribute for Phil Everly

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 20, 2014 1348

Muhlenberg Community Hospital Prepares for…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Erin Warren
October 20, 2014 1256

KU and LG&E to Fund Qualified Tree-Planting…

in General News For All Sites by Cliff Feltham
October 20, 2014 1228

Hopkins County Board of Education Recognizes…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss