Keeping Whyalla's goal

TEAM: Bill Bateman (second from the right) with some of the goalkeepers he trained during the classes his ran for 30 years in Whyalla.
TEAM: Bill Bateman (second from the right) with some of the goalkeepers he trained during the classes his ran for 30 years in Whyalla.

Local Bill Bateman recently celebrated his 90th birthday with friends, family and group of goalkeepers that he helped tutor over the 50 years he was in Whyalla soccer.

Mr Bateman started coaching the Croatia Under 14 Boy’s team in 1969, and in 1970 he joined the Greek club Thunder. In the mid 1970’s Mr Bateman had two sons playing at Steel United, so he decided to help out there.

In the 1980’s he decided to teach goalkeeping to boys from all clubs from around Whyalla. Mr Bateman ran training classes in front of the Foreshore Motel every Saturday morning from 9am until 12pm.

The classes continued throughout the year during summer and winter, with two weeks off for Christmas and the New Year. Mr Bateman kept teaching young goalkeepers until he was 86 years old.

He ran the classes for 30 years total between 1984 and 2014 and was involved with local soccer from 1968 to 2018, a total of 50 years.

Mr Bateman says he still enjoys watching his grandsons play.