Daily work with the national goalkeeper coach, regular goalkeeper in the 3rd division, test camp in the U-21 national team: Noah Atubolu has made great progress since the summer. However, the 19-year-old Freiburg imagined that the weekly change between the two SC teams would be easier.
Oscillating between two worlds: talented SC goalkeeper Noah Atubolu. imago imaes
Atubolu does not lack self-confidence. “I was number one in the U20s and played quite a few minutes there, and thanks to my relatively good performances as a 19-year-old goalkeeper in the third division, the U21 luckily noticed me,” he said. -he commented on his first nomination for the German U-21 team in November after spending 90 minutes for the U-20 DFB between the posts in September and October without conceding a goal (2-0 in the Czech Republic, 0- 0 in Poland).
In the Under-21s he was tested as the third challenger to Luca Philipp and Nico Mantl, who have been nominated three times in a row, followed the unexpected 0: 4 fag against Poland from the stands and s’ sits on the bench at the end of the 4-0 of the year international game against San Marino. The course with famous U-21 goalkeeper coach Klaus Thomforde provided valuable additional experience for the man with a very big goal in mind: “For every goalkeeper who plays in Germany, it’s a given a goal to become a national goalkeeper. I want to work at it step by step and improve myself. ”
Almost every day under Kronenberg
On this path, Atubolu already has a lot in common with Manuel Neuer, Marc-André ter Stegen, Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp: he trains with national goalkeeper coach Andreas Kronenberg. And not just a few times a year for a few days, but almost every day. Kronenberg will continue his work, which he started in 2011 and has exercised with great success over the years, as a goalkeeper coach at the sports club until the summer, before moving on to completely to the DFB.
“As long as I can still work with Krone, I will get everything he can teach me from him and I hope he gets everything from me as well,” says Atubolu, who has made a name for himself as a sniper in March. 2020. In the Under-19 game against Hoffenheim, the boy from Freiburg, who had played for Freiburg FC until the age of 13 and previously for Eintracht Freiburg, scored a sensational goal at around 60 meters.
Flekken is a role model when it comes to death
While not primarily about scoring goals, kicking play in SC has traditionally had to be good with goalies, especially with Kronenberg in charge. Regular goalkeeper Mark Flekken shines in this so far successful Bundesliga season with his solid ball handling and excellent passing play. “He’s not just one of the best for me,” Atubolu said: “Flekki is playing a great season and deserved it, he’s come a long, tough road and had a lot of bad luck with injuries. As a young goalkeeper, I am very grateful to be able to work with him and Benjamin Uphoff as they are mature and have always been good for a long time. I can learn a lot from that. ”
Atubolu also describes himself as a good footballer. “It allows me to enter the game quite well and I think on the one hand I strengthen the team with my composure, but I also bring a good mentality and emotions to the pitch.” The 1.90-meter athlete sees improvements in many areas and cites the left foot as an example.
“Not so easy for the head”
In addition to the considerable work on his goalkeeper game, Atubolu currently has to master a particular challenge. As a rule, he trains with the professional team until Thursday inclusive, then participates in the final training of the U23 on Friday in order to play with them in the 3rd division on weekends then generally participates in the unit of regeneration. again from the Bundesliga team. “It’s a little harder than I thought before. It’s not that easy on the head when you’re with the pros, but not in the squad there. Then you go down to U23, good of course you want to play there, when you don’t know if it works like that, it kinda sticks in your head. ” The good performances naturally facilitate this process of weekly change, in which Atubolu is better after 14 third division matches than at the start of the season: “At one point you are fully in this rhythm.
The 3rd Division should of course not be the end of a career. Atubolu, who, as a player born in 2002, is even allowed to participate in the U-21 European Championship in 2025, has what it takes to have an exciting and successful career. However, this will likely require a lot of patience depending on the position. Raising it shouldn’t be so easy for someone who, at 19, is already capable of bringing together such diverse experiences at a high level.