Liberia’s Nathaniel Sherman: Giving Back to Football Through Mentorship
Noted to be a loquacious player between the goalposts, former national team goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman was one of the outstanding shot stoppers in Liberian football.
Despite his position on the field, he played the role of a coach on every team he played for. His style of play was to always keep his defenders on the alert and was defensively involved in his team’s success.
His outstanding performance that led him to an early rewarding stage of his career-although not the stage he envisioned ending at-came to the spotlight during his spell at UMC Roots from his impressive performances; something that earned him a call to the Liberian national team.
After spending another season at UMC Roots, the shot stopper later joined first division side Nimba United on a two-year contract.
Unfortunately, the club was relegated to the second division, a level that Sherman could not imagine himself playing in.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I am very happy at the club right now, but I choose to leave because I am not willing at the moment to play in second division at the current status of my career,”[/perfectpullquote]
Sherman told a local daily during that season.
He became a hot cake on the market following his departure and was chased by other top club including Barrack Young Controllers (BYC), LISCR FC, Invincible Eleven and NPA Anchors. The 27-year-old finally joined BYC after several negotiations.
Sadly, after several season with the club, the young enterprising goalkeeper’s career came to an end in 2015 while the Lone Stars was preparing for a crucial encounter against Tunisia in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Sherman suffered a serious eye injury on September 5, 2015 when he walked into a glass panel in the lobby of the hotel where the team was on camp and was ruled out of Liberia’s 1-0 victory over Tunisia in Monrovia.
The accident damaged the retina of his right eye and his expectation of returning to his normal position between the goalposts was not met after an unsuccessful eye surgery in India.
However, Sherman’s passion for passion the game remains in his DNA as he continues to contribute to football from the administrative level. The 27-year-old is currently president for BYC Football second club BYC-II in the second division.
He believes that he stills owes a lot to football and one way he can give back through mentorship. Sherman stills wears his goalkeeper suit, but no longer stands between the goalposts. He occasionally visits the training sessions of the Monrovia Football Academy to help train aspiring young players the goalkeeping fundamentals.
“The knowledge needs to be passed on to the younger generation of goalkeepers. Together we can make the change in football.”
Featured Image by Anthony Kokoi: Nathaniel Sherman conducting fundamental goalkeeping training with young goalkeepers at Monrovia Football Academy