Tucker's praise for goalkeepers
21st May 2013
Adrian Tucker paid tribute to both Michel Vorm and Gerhard Tremmel for their contribution in a historic season for Swansea City.
In a position that often gets overlooked by some, both goalkeepers have more than played their part as Michael Laudrup's men once again defied the odds.
Tipped to struggle by many before the campaign kicked off, the Swans have enjoyed another remarkable year, culminating in a top-ten finish and delivering the club's first major trophy.
Vorm has made 27 appearances this season, again showing why he was such a shrewd acquisition back in the summer of 2011, while Tremmel has had to step in on more than one occasion.
Following a bad injury to the Dutchman at the Etihad Stadium back in October which ruled Vorm out for an extended period, Tremmel proved his worth as a replacement by helping the Swans consolidate their position in mid table and reach the Capital One Cup final.
And Tucker has been delighted with the contribution of both keepers this season.
"Both goalkeepers have worked extremely hard this year," said the Swans' goalkeeping coach. "Michel started the season as number one but after suffering that injury against Manchester City, Gerhard came in and took his opportunity well.
"I think he has surprised a few people, which has been fantastic and Michel has done equally well when he has played.
"Michael (Laudrup) was adamant that Gerhard would play in the cup games, regardless of whether we reached the final. From his point of view, it has been a massive bonus to play in those games and he has thoroughly deserved his opportunity.
"It is a difficult position to be in, but as long as you remain focussed and give everything in training then you will be confident enough to step in and do the job when required.
"You have to prepare yourself each week to play and to be fair to Gerhard, he has been the ultimate professional. Every day he works as hard as he can and he respects both the manager and Michel whenever he plays.
"That adds to the healthy competition between the two of them and he has been rewarded for that with his new contract."
More often than not, and injuries permitting, a club will field just one goalkeeper throughout the season.
With Tremmel being restricted to just three appearances last season, the German found himself playing second fiddle to the heroics of Michel Vorm.
However, following a different set of circumstances, Tremmel's 21 appearances this term has been a welcome joy for the German, who has endeared himself to the Jack Army after a string of fine performances.
And Tucker revealed the great friendship between the two players that carries itself out onto the field.
"It's a really positive relationship," he said. "From a respect point of view, they have probably gained even more off respect from each other for their performances this season.
"Gerhard has played his number of games and they work well together and know that they are both very good goalkeepers.
"It's always pleasing from a coaching point of view to see the goalkeepers do so well. When Michel won all those awards at the end of last season there was nobody more proud than myself.
"This year, with both of them performing so well, it couldn't have gone any better for us."