Port Vale gave one lucky fan a money cannot buy opportunity to learn to Save Like A Pro, alongside new signing Lucas Covolan. 

Ahead of the new season, Burslem United FC’s Cameron Heath, 21, was invited to Vale Park to experience a professional goalkeeping coaching session and get tips on how to save energy on and off the pitch. 

The session included working on the basics of goalkeeping, focusing on the best ways to warm up and ensuring they were ready for tricky drills developing movement in goal, handling and saving energy. 

The training session was organised as part of Smart Energy GB and EFL’s ‘Save Like a Pro’ campaign, which highlights how getting a smart meter installed can help people make small changes at home to save energy and be more in control of their energy bills. 

Heath was put through his paces in the warm Stoke sunshine by Covolan and Vale’s first-team goalkeeping coach Ronnie Sinclair. 

Covolan, who joined Port Vale this summer having scored an injury-time equaliser for Torquay in the National League play-off final, wanted to get involved so he could give fans like Dobson a chance to experience a professional standard training session. 

“I’ve been sharing a few tips and tricks on the importance of having full control of your energy use to help keep you top of your game,” said Covolan, speaking to encourage Port Vale fans to get a smart meter installed. 

Smart meters put an end to estimated bills and come with an in-home display screen so users can easily see where energy is being used, meaning they can make small changes to save energy and budget more easily. 

On the pitch, Covolan was keen to offer words of wisdom to Heath: “It was great, we worked more on the technique, we did a little bit of a warmup to get the body warm, and to get going, then got to the drills ready to go with full energy on it, and to be sharp and quick. 

“As goalkeepers, we are literally switched on all the time, even when the ball is on the other side of the pitch. Mentally, it's really, really important for us and physically as well, so that's why you need to train hard to be playing hard. 

Ealing Times: The training session was organised as part of Smart Energy GB and EFL’s innovative ‘Save Like a Pro’ campaignThe training session was organised as part of Smart Energy GB and EFL’s innovative ‘Save Like a Pro’ campaign

“Saving energy comes a lot from sleeping and eating well. I think those two and being mentally prepared for everything that is going to be happening during the game

"I have learnt today about saving energy off the pitch as well and about the importance of getting a smart meter installed so I can manage my energy at home. Also, there’s such small things you can do - you can turn lights off when not needed, turn the TV off.

Vale fan Heath, from Burslem, will look to use what he learnt from Covolan and Sinclair to impress his teammates as they start up their season in the Coors Sunday Football League, Division 4. 

He said: “It has given me an insight of how a professional goalkeeper trains and how I can improve at  Sunday league level.  

“They have given me a good insight into what happens, what the movements are, how to catch, all that kind of stuff, just starting from the basics and hopefully they will help me to go on to the next level. 

“We have been doing movements of the feet, handling, movement when you're on the floor, how to save your energy when you're pirouetting on the floor to push off, so then you can go on to make a second save. 

“Once you make a save if you turn your leg over and make sure you're ready for that other save, you can save energy there instead of just doing it in one movement. 

“It tested my fitness, which I was expecting. I gave it a good go and tried to listen, tried to implement what was being said to me by the coach and just went from there.” 

Prior to his once-in-a-lifetime experience, Heath was focused on conserving energy to get the most out of the coaching: “I make sure I eat well and get plenty of fluids before a match, make sure to try and keep my mind free of anything and to try and win the games. 

“We have a smart meter installed at home so we can monitor our energy use and manage our monthly budget.” 

Some of the energy saving tips discussed off the pitch by Covolan and Heath were using fewer appliances and lights during the summer months, hanging washing outside rather than using a dryer, and turning your appliances off standby mode. 

While another is speaking to your energy supplier about getting a meter installed to help control your usage, with pre pay customers able to top up via mobile or online.

Robert Cheesewright, Director at Smart Energy GB said: “Footballers and goalkeepers need to know how to conserve their energy on and off the pitch, and the same goes for our own energy use at home. 

“Getting a smart meter from your energy supplier means, through automatic billing and having greater control of your energy use, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. 

“The in-home display allows you to see in near-real time how much energy you are using in pounds and pence - meaning you can make some great saves, just like our goalkeepers today. 

“Join the energy revolution and help upgrade Britain’s energy infrastructure by getting a smart meter installed at no extra cost.” 

If you would like to register your interest in getting a smart meter installed, contact your energy supplier. Smart Energy GB and the EFL Partnership: Save Like a Pro. For more information visit https://www.port-vale.co.uk/news/2021/september/learning-to-save-like-a-pro-with-lucas-covolan/