Where did the weeks go?! It genuinely only seemed a few days ago that we had record numbers at our UCD Trial Day back in November. Now, there are only two chances and a handful of contracts left to be snapped up before our 2018 squad heads to Warwick for their training weekend.
Lots of you seem to think that you need to show the tactical awareness of Arsene Wenger (just kidding, he still hasn’t replaced Vieira in 10 years) or the raw motivational passion of Jurgen Klopp to earn a coaching contract. We get it, a summer like this couldn’t possibly be achieved easily. Ok, maybe it’s not but for Ciaran, Lauren, Kate, Ryan and Aisling they sure did make it look easy.
We caught up with them ahead of our last assessment’s in Irish and DCU and ahead of a summer, they are dreaming of.
Q: Hey guys, thanks so much for chatting to us! First up, how long has football played a part in your life?
Ciaran: Football has been in my life since I was born with my godfather and granda claiming me as a Man Utd fan to my Dad’s (Leeds fan) disappointment.
Lauren: From the minute I was born football was in my life. From my early days I remember always going to watch me Dad play in matches or watching it on the tv.
Ryan: I was born 3 weeks after Liverpool won their last league title. I have been saying next year is our year and playing the best sport in the world ever since. I’ve a lifelong love affair with this game.
Q: What made you decide to register for a Trial Day with us?
Lauren: When I heard about the programme and heard from people who already did it, I knew it was how I wanted to spend my summer.
Ciaran: I had a trial for a playing scholarship in the US but 2 weeks into the season I tore my ACL and meniscus. My coach told me about this opportunity and to go to the trial day.
Kate: I want to gain more coaching experience and doing it in the States for the summer is an amazing opportunity. Also I was very jealous of all my other friends going away for the summer so I wanted to go on my own adventure!
Q: Having been offered a contract for this summer, what advice would you give those attending next week’s Trials?
Lauren: When doing your session make it fun and aim your planned session at kids, rather than adult level football. Coach the game not the drill.
Matthew: I learned that there is no need to overcomplicate things and all people need is a calm, friendly word to fix any mistakes. Something that is rewarding when you see them performing better on the next go
Aisling: Just be yourself and have fun while coaching, if you’re nervous use that energy to knock it out of the park.
Ryan: Enthusiasm is the most important thing to show! Remember, some of the kids you’ll coach are new to the game so making sure to encourage who you’re coaching and making sure they enjoy while learning new skills is massive.
Kate: Prepare. Make out a few drills before the trial day, pick the one you can coach best, keep calm and just enjoy it! Don’t make the drills to complicated or long, even though on the day you’re coaching adults, you’re going to be coaching kids in America!
Q: Where are you going to be based for the summer?
Ciaran: I will be based in Denver Colorado and then San Francisco.
Lauren: I’m off to Kansas this summer!
Kate: I got hired to go to Seattle in Washington. I hadn’t a clue where Seattle was! But when I researched about the city I was very glad to be placed there, it looks beautiful.
Aisling: Yes, I’m going to Denver for 3 months and Sacramento for a month.
Matthew: Yes, I have found out that I will be travelling to Denver, Colorado. This is a place that I know very little about as it is not your typically famous New York, LA or San Fran, but I am very excited and going there with an open mind.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the summer?
Lauren: I am looking forward to travelling and doing what I love. I love working with kids and coaching and being able to do that in a new country will be a new exciting experience.
Ciaran: Less rain and snow as well as seeing a new culture!
Matthew: I am excited to meet a lot of new people and friends as well as experience something totally different. I have never coached football before and I am excited to see how I adapt to the challenge while getting to see a new part of the world.
Ryan: Getting to stay with the host families and hopefully playing a small part in helping the next generation become obsessed with soccer like I did.
Q: What are you hoping to learn from the experience?
Aisling: I hope to get some vital coaching experience and hopefully network with other coaches for later down the line.
Kate: To be self-reliant, I won’t have my parents there to go to if I’ve got a problem or to wash my clothes. This experience will be a very good learning curve for me, to grow up and to trust myself.
Ciaran: I hope to learn more about myself and my own resolve to be alone away from friends and family also I would like to bring new opportunities and avenues to my future in the sport.
Q: What coach, past or present do you most admire and why?
Kate: Pep Guardiola is one of the smartest coaches in this day in age. The way he’s lead Man City this season is incredible. He also gives the young and upcoming players a chance, the likes of Phil Foden. That’s something I admire in a coach.
Lauren: Pep Guardiola. His player management is key to his success!
Ciaran: My own coach Ian McGrath who even when I was “too small to be a goalkeeper” backed me up and his faith in me saw me become the first name on the sheet captain of the club and the opportunity to play with cork academy because he had faith in me and knew how to motivate an average team to title contenders
Aisling: I admire a few of my personal coaches but a coach who I would look at as being well rounded in the public eye would be Chris Coleman due to the success he brought to Wales in the Euro 2016 tournament.
Q: Will you be supporting anyone at Russia 2018 seeing as Ireland fell just short?
Kate: I’ll be cheering on Australia, I’ve got family there and was in Sydney last year so it’s a beautiful country that’s close to my heart.
Lauren: France or Iceland (I love a good underdog story).
Ciaran: As always I will be supporting the Germans I like their efficient style of play from the keeper to the strikers.
Aisling: Iceland, the Icelandic clap is spine tingling.
Ryan: Eygpt, because I love Mo Salah! I hope England do well too because at the end of the day they’re our neighbours and we support a lot of those players at club level.
Q: Lastly, if you could manage a dream team for 90 minutes of players throughout history what would be your starting XI?
Huge thanks again to Lauren, Kate, Ciaran, Aisling, Ryan and Matthew for sharing their Coach Soccer USA experience so far! Here’s to the best summer yet guys!
Remember, we’re holding two more Trial Days in Dublin. You can register free for either below: