Simon Nee joined Red Bulls Academy back in 2006, and has coached every age level within the Academy system, including being the head coach of the U-23’s.
During his 15 years within the organization, there has been some incredible moments Nee has had the opportunity to be a part of.
“I coached the U23’s when we won National Title in 2014 – we also reached the second round of the Open Cup that season,” Nee said. “Such a special groups of players many of them went on to play professionally. Sean Davis captained the team, and the final was played at Red Bull Arena after one of the first team home games – memorable night.”
Nee has set high expectations for himself and the decision to come coach at Red Bulls Academy all those years ago speaks for itself.
“I chose this club because if gives younger players a chance – as developer of younger players there is no better approval of your work than seeing an academy player make his debut with the first team,” Nee said. “I am fortunate enough to work in one of the top academies in the country and with one of the best soccer organization in the world. Huge privilege comes with big expectations – every day you have to bring the best version of yourself and I love the challenge the work places on you as coach and a developer of young talent.”
The Stoke-on-Trent, England native had new challenges to face than he ever had before in the face of the pandemic.
“We set weekly tasks for the players and empowered them to work on tasks together and present to the group,” Nee said. “We continued to find ways to teach, inspire and improve the players – physical conditioning online – tactical and technical discussions with players.”
Despite the ongoing challenges, the U-14 group had a successful 2020 fall season. They owned a 13-1-2 record, the most wins by any Red Bulls Academy team this fall. The team had seven players with five or more goals scored for the season.
“One highlight of the season is that I had two players move up to train and play full time with U15’s – two players that are now one step closer to the first team,” Nee said.
With the spring season on the horizon, Nee is looking forward to getting his U-14 group back on the field and seeing them continue their development
“I enjoy watching the evolution of the players and team I work with each season,” Nee said. “Most importantly, I always want to see my players work hard, be brave, love the game, and have fun.”