AN ACADEMY for young goalkeepers set up in memory of an Amersham teenager has the potential to go national, believes one of the men who helped get it up and running.

The number of youngsters using the Aaron West Goalkeeping Academy has increased to such an extent that it could now go beyond its Amersham base.

That's the view of Richard Dean, who helped with the initial fundraising drive to get the academy off the ground before finding a professional goalkeeping coach to teach children how to play.

He said: "I think it's got huge potential and I've always thought that. Our starting aim is to get it across Bucks. Everybody's fully behind that.

"Our aim then is to take it on a regional, if not national, basis, and introduce new offerings such as match analysis and one-on-one coaching."

Setting up the academy was the dying wish of promising goalkeeper Aaron, who died from a rare form of cancer in 2010 and wanted young footballers in Bucks to be given the chances to improve their skills he was never given.

Mr Dean, a sports psychologist with London-based Guardian Elite who has worked with Premier League footballers and several other top-level athletes, was introduced to Aaron's mother Dax through Wycombe Wanderers community coach Ben Ashby.

Aaron had been on work experience with the club and Mr Dean was asked if he could help with the fundraising to get the plans for the academy off the ground.

The High Wycombe resident put forward an England football kit and a signed Robin van Persie shirt to raise money for the academy kitty, but was also asked if he could use his sporting connections to help in other ways.

Mr Dean introduced Mrs West to Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, a professional footballer who agreed to coach the youngsters at the academy.

He said: "He can offer a wealth of experience to the kids. Dax has been tremendously happy with his services - he's been a real boon to proceedings for her."

He added: "I saw Dax's vision and her mission and thought, this is such an emotive direction to go in, I felt compelled to get involved."

The Academy is based at the Amersham School in Stanley Hill, with sessions for children aged seven-12 taking place on Mondays and classes for 13-16 year olds on Fridays.

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