2023 Fall Academy Season Preview: U15 Head Coach, Simon Nee
"The most rewarding part of academy coaching is always the new group you get to work with at the start of each season - helping to create the right team culture for the shared journey you go on together as you progress through the season.
My first objective with any group I work with is always to create a supportive environment that improve the players, creates a winning culture within the team and most importantly helps in the development of well-rounded individuals off the field. We start the season with helping the players define their performance goals outlining specific areas they want to focus on and improve. The right mentality will then determine a player success. Diligence, energy, resilience, focus, working hard every day, and having fun. My job is to create the environment in which we can get the best out of the players. Talent got the players to the club but their mentality to improve everyday will determine where they go from here.
The next objective is creating a clear playing identity within the group this will always be determined by the make-up of the players and their individual qualities. At the core of the club’s playing philosophy is proactive football that players enjoying playing and people enjoy watching. I want my players to outwork, outthink and ultimately outplay the opposition. The game is always evolving but one thing that is clear is that we must strive to develop players that can think and act quickly to control all phases of the game.
The Performance Phase is the important next step in a player’s development we play in high level competition such as the GA Cup, MLS playoffs and the Next Generation event in Salzburg. The success of the U15’s team last season in the MLS playoffs has set the benchmark. A core of that group came from the 2009 age group we had eight players in the squad that won the national final that will play again with the U15’s this season. In addition, the scouting department has done exceptional job at identify additional players that we have added to the age group this season to make the age group even stronger. Competition for places is high within the team and that can only be good for development.
The goal is always to develop players that can one day play in our first team. I am fortunate to work at a club that gives young players a chance. Last season we had three players signed from the U15 age group in Aidan Stokes, Julian Hall and Tanner Rosborough. The message I said to the team on Day 1 this season was clear - If you perform at this level the opportunity to get signed can come quickly. It will be exciting to see who comes next."
- Simon Nee