Women’s World Cup: Rachel Brown-Finnis’ penalty tips

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Rachel Brown-Finnis is England’s most-capped women’s goalkeeper

Penalties and goalkeepers have had a lot of attention at this year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

Three penalties have had to be retaken because of new rules – and there’s been a debate over the size of the goals.

But what’s it like to face a penalty at a World Cup? And how do takers and keepers prepare?

England’s most-capped women’s goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis spoke to Radio 1 Newsbeat presenter Ben Mundy at the Women’s World Cup in Nice.

Here are details of her experiences and her top tips, in her own words.

Facing a penalty, you’re excited about it, you’re buzzing about it, then the reality of it sets in.

You’ve got to think of the homework you’ve done, the stuff that you’ve talked about with your goalkeeper coach, the prep for this individual match and the player that’s taken it.

Recalling those stats – which way does she go, which way did she go in the last game, remembering to stay on your line – and then just committing to what your decision is.

It’s like having a little black book, knowing who the likely penalty takers are. In a regular group game, the potential for it to be a knockout in a penalty shootout, then of course you’ve got the whole team.

A lot of goalkeepers have key words on tape that they wrap around their wrists.

That can be to prompt a visualisation technique.

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Rachel played for clubs including Liverpool and Everton

Some new rules came in to this tournament on 1 June, so it’s the first tournament we’ve seen them applied in and they’re very strict with them.

  • The goalkeeper has to have part of the foot in contact with the line or above and inline with the line if they are in mid-air, as in jumping
  • It will be recalled with VAR if they think there’s an infringement on that

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You might not like Rachel’s top tips if you’re an outfield player…

My top tips:

1) The goalkeeper should stay on the line and commit to the direction they’re going to dive to

2) Indecision from the penalty taker gives a goalkeeper a chance

3) For the takers… there are no top tips because I’m a goalkeeper!

England play Cameroon in their last-16 game on Sunday 23 June at 4:30pm UK time.

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