By Kevin Eickman
There is a list a mile long of what a soccer goalkeeper needs to know. This knowledge comes with training, time coaching and effort. While this knowledge will come with time and experience, the one thing a goalkeeper must have that cannot be taught, is instinct. In the case of recent Milford graduate Tyler Millman, that is the trait that has stuck out from the beginning.
While most student athletes hone their skills in high school, with the idea of possibly playing at the next level, Millman just thought it would be fun to try. With the urging of his friend Matt Mitzel and an enjoyment of soccer from playing video games, Millman figured why not give it a try. The result was a senior season that witnessed Millman’s skill in the net grow by leaps and bounds.
Though it may not have been the plan, Millman will be headed to Lackawanna College to continue to try and continue his development. “The coach [Justin Cardamone] is a good guy, seems well experienced, he knows what he is doing. He was a Red Bull academy coach for a while,” Millman stated.
One of the other details of Lackawanna that appealed to Millman is the fact that it is a first year program. “I think it’s going to be awesome, I think we’re going to have a real good team,” Millman said.. One of the things that Millman is looking forward to, is meeting people from around the world. The team is expected to have players from Switzerland, Iceland, Guam and Venezuela.
Millman offered up great praise for Buccaneer assistant coach Ed Evans, who worked with Millman as he learned the ropes as a keeper. “Without him I probably wouldn’t have been here, he’s pushed me to get the best out of me,” Millman said. “He’s given me pretty much everything I know about soccer, in and out.”
Being the last line of defense comes with a great deal of responsibility. When asked about that challenge, Millman indicated that he would be up to the task. “You kind of just got to get a feel for your teammates and you gotta know how to talk to people, in a way that they’ll react,” commented Millman. “You’ve got to be able to individually have a connection with your teammates, that way they listen and understand and hear you. That way you can say something once and automatically they are responding”
One of the things that stood out in the mind of Coach Evans, was the way that Millman embraced and threw himself into the game. It seemed that every time there was a spare moment, Millman was trying to learn more. “He just kind of fell in love with the game. Ultimately as a coach that’s what you want to do. Kids either have a love or you kind of share that and help it grow,” said Evans.
Evans also believes that the choice of Lackawanna could be a good fit for Millman. While initially considering Wesley, Evans indicated that if he chose the Dover school he should not set his expectations too high with regards to playing time. “This opportunity at Lackawanna you might be starting off and playing right off the bat,” Evans stated. Blessed with good height, Millman will also need to work on his command in the box as time goes on “people are automatically assuming that he is going to be strong in the air and that’s just a matter of going in and getting some confidence,” said Evans.
When asked what kind of player Lackawanna was getting, head coach Todd French chimed in. “He will always be one of the first people at practice, every day,” French stated. “He’s the type of kid you want to just show up and that’s kind of what he did. He’s also the type of kid we would have like to have had for four or five years.”
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