Q: Whereabouts did you get to be based in the US?
Ian: My summer spent in America was by far one of the best if not the best summer/experience that I have ever done! I was based in the Chicago region but also worked on soccer camps in the Providence region too.
Moe: I got lucky to work in California and Arizona. So one week I could be working in Morenci in Arizona, then another I’d be in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, LA or if you’re lucky you could be in Hawaii. Moving from soccer camp to camp gives you the opportunity to explore and see so many different places.
Q: What was the most valuable thing you learned being a Coach in the US?
Ian: Coaching at the soccer camps was good but more rewarding when you see one of the kids perfect a cross-field pass or a Cruyff turn you have just coached them. Money can’t buy that feeling of when you see a kid accomplish something like that. There’s a lot of satisfaction in it!
Coaching in America definitely has opened my eyes in many ways and has also given me the drive and motivation to succeed as a soccer coach out in the U.S. Just learning new ways of life and building relationships with people all over the world is what I am grateful for this experience for. I have also made lifelong friends that we have memories that will last a lifetime.
Moe: It’s exciting moving around states staying with different host families because you get to see different people and different places.
Q: What was it like staying with a host family every week? Were you apprehensive about it?
Moe: Living with the host families was an amazing experience I’d never forget. All the host families that I lived with really went out of their way to make sure I had an amazing time. Some host families end up taking you out to baseball games, shooting ranges, Disneyland or they even hook you with VIP to see Calvin Harris live in Caesars Palace in Omnia in Las Vegas. Even after you’ve lived with them they still keep in contact with you and you do get to see them again. I’ve had the opportunity to meet up and even stay with the host families. They really do make you feel at home!
In terms in being nervous about staying with host families, no, not really. Most times you stay in a host family with another coach and your always on the go so you don’t stay in as much. The host families are really easy going they know your there to have a good time.
Q: What did you get up to aside from the coaching sessions? Did you have much time for anything else?
Ian: A typical day would be coaching a morning and evening session. After camp I would normally spend it getting to know my host family, socialising with the other coaches or simply just relaxing by the pool and taking in the American dream. Every week the coaches and I would travel to a different location to coach. This was a great way for me to see different parts of America.
Moe: When we weren’t coaching there were so many things to do. You would go out to the beach with all the other coaches, or go to the outlets. Most of the time we’d go see as many places as we could like going to see the Hollywood sign. When you’re over there there’s plenty of options to go and see things.
Q: What were your biggest highlights from what sounds an awesome summer?
Ian: My personal highlights included heading to my first MLS game where Chicago Fire player against Indy Eleven, spending time in both New York and New Jersey will be something I won’t ever forget as they are both such class places to visit.
I have some amazing memories, like having the kids singing Ole Ole Ole and also one of the camps I was on the kids baked this Bohemians FC chocolate brownie cake for me! (Bohemians Fc are my childhood club back home in Dublin).
Also experiencing the nightlife in Chicago, New York and New Jersey compared to the nightlife back home there are no words to describe it.
Q: Any advice for someone looking to go in 2017?