England and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is getting the best of both worlds

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope
Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope

Burnley's Nick Pope is getting the best of both worlds with mentors at domestic and international level contributing to his development as a goalkeeper.

The 27-year-old is feeling the benefit of drawing on the expertise of both Billy Mercer and Martyn Margetson, who tutor the goalkeeping pools at the Barnfield Training Centre and St George's Park respectively.

England stopper Nick Pope congratulates Raheem Sterling after his brace in Bulgaria

England stopper Nick Pope congratulates Raheem Sterling after his brace in Bulgaria

The former Charlton Athletic stopper, who has won a single cap for the Three Lions, has been soaking up information from the pair, who are both renowned in their fields.

Liverpudlian Mercer, who played alongside Clarets boss Sean Dyche at Chesterfield, has previously been employed by Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday while Welshman Margetson, currently at Swansea City, started his career at Manchester City.

The duo have a wealth of knowledge and experience to bestow and Pope, who was an unused substitute for the Euro 2020 Group A qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, is tapping in to new ideas and techniques.

"They both have a massive impact," he said. "I obviously spend more time with Billy [Mercer], it's been day in day out right from the start, even when I wasn't involved in squads at Burnley.

"To come from that and to play in the Premier League, he's been there the whole time. He's been great for me.

"Martyn [Margetson] has been someone I've worked with away from Burnley and he offers new ideas, new ways of thinking, something different. You can take the best out of both people.

"A big part of goalkeeping is nitpicking what you want out of yourself and what works best for you, listening to new ideas and accepting whether they're for you or if you take another route.

"In goalkeeping there are many different techniques and ways to look at things, there's never just a simple answer. It's great to speak about it and learn off different people.

"I wouldn't say they [their approaches] are massively different, but it's just different opinions.

"It's great to have two really highly qualified people, who have played the game at a really high level, to share my thoughts with as a goalkeeper and get their thoughts back."

But the buck for the Soham-born stopper's education doesn't stop with his professors. Pope also bounces off his comrades, whether that be Jordan Pickford, Tom Heaton, Dean Henderson, Joe Hart or Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

He said: "With every squad I'm in I can only better myself by training with the players here and being around the other goalkeepers. They're top players so if you're not getting any better you're not doing something right.

"I'm here to enjoy it, but improving myself is a massive part of it for me, even without playing games. I've been in full squads and I've been able to learn and take things back with me.

"It's just so different. Your club is your club and your country is your country. It's very split. There is such a high level of quality goalkeepers in the Premier League and with England to pick from at the minute.

"To get in the squad first of all is an achievement in itself and it's great for the squad because we're all pushing each other.

"It's a long season and you've got to put the performances in to merit it [becoming England number one]."