New Doncaster Rovers signing Josef Bursik on playing out from the back - and taking free kicks
Having a goalkeeper who is adept with the ball at his feet is nothing new for Doncaster Rovers - but what about one that takes free kicks?
And not the hoofing the ball 60 yards down the pitch sort of free kicks. The having a shot on goal from 30 yards kind.
Well, Rovers have that potential weapon in their arsenal now having signed Josef Bursik on a season-long loan from Stoke City.
Last season, while on loan at Accrington Stanley, the 20-year-old was handed the opportunity to take a free kick after impressing boss John Coleman in training.
“I just took one in training, about 30 yards out, and dipped it over the wall and into the top corner,” Bursik told the Free Press.
“It was the day before a cup game and the gaffer just pulled me and said ‘what if I say tomorrow do you want to take one?’
“I’m quite an open guy. I thought why not.
“I took one against Salford the next day, which was probably the best one out of the three that I ended up taking. I nearly scored.
“I took one against Burton which was saved and I took one against Peterborough, I hit it out of Accrington’s stadium and into the car park!
“I think that was a little short spell but it was fun I suppose.”
On whether he would be keen to take up the mantle again with Rovers, Bursik is a little reluctant.
“I don’t think I will be,” he said. “I had a taste of it and I’m not sure it was for me.”
The England U20 international will no doubt show off his ability on the ball for Rovers this season, following in the footsteps of Seny Dieng who impressed greatly last season.
And Bursik says Rovers’ style of football was a major driving force behind his desire to move to the Keepmoat on loan.
“It’s a big part of my game,” he said.
“I’ve always had the fundamentals of the first job of a keeper being keeping the ball out of the net, that is the most important thing.
“But coming to a team like this that likes to play football, build from the back, build through the thirds, I think it’s a really important thing.
“I like to think it’s a big part of my game so it should really suit me and I can’t wait to get on the pitch and start playing football.”
Bursik’s footballing attributes were fostered as an outfield player in his youth before a timely growth spurt saw him put between the sticks.
“I used to be quite small,” he said. “I was a left winger until I was about 11 or 12.
“Then I hit a massive growth spurt and grew taller than everyone else. I think I lost a bit of pace.
“I got stuck in game, really enjoyed it and I said to my dad that I thought it could be for me.
“Lo and behold I stayed in goal and I managed to work my way up.”