"Play small sided games where kids are free to dribble and run with the ball and have FUN."
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Welcome once again to AP ladies and gentlemen! The sun is shining and summer is in full swing. And the Euro's start tomorrow, which means my work load is going to drop drastically. Now, a quick preface. Today's interview is different. I got to interview the head coach of National Premier Soccer League club Temecula FC, Willie Donachie. Since the season has already started, and h'es busy guy, it's not as long as some of the other interviews, but it's still a good read. Hopefully we can link up after the season for a second interview.
Some background on Willie before we go any further. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and played at left back for Manchester City, the NASL version of the Portland Timbers, had thirty five caps with the Scottish National Team, and has previously coached at Millwall and the Men's National Team for Antigua and Barbuda before making it to California. Now, with that out of the way, I give you an the interview with Willie Donachie. Check it out.
When did you first get interested in soccer in general and helping run a soccer team in particular? Was there a certain event that got you into the sport, or have you always been into soccer?
Where I was born soccer was the religion and literally thousands from Glasgow have become professional players.I went on to play over 400 times for Man City and play for Scotland in the World cup before playing for Portland Timbers 1980 to 1982. Going back to England I kept playing and started coaching and was lucky to work with lots of good people and many European international players.
Can you recap the history of Temecula FC for me?
Temecula FC is a fantastic club in a beautiful part of the world. The city is mainly families and young people giving it a healthy vibrancy. Positioned in a beautiful valley with mountains all round it has a perfect climate, usually sunny and cool at night. Very safe place with vineyards on one side and a casino at the other.
Temecula was the idea of Brandon Jantz and his friend Vince Pacconi who both grew up here. They had a noble vision of a pathway for young players to carry on playing after University at a level where they could become professional. They saw the need and the response from local young players has been superb. They give their time and money to try and become professional players and I respect them so much for this.
I would like to see more local people and businesses get behind the club as I know it is a constant struggle to keep going financially. However Brandon will keep it going and sacrificing a lot will build this club into a stepping stone for young local players to become full professional soccer players here or in Europe where we have many contacts.
Personally I have been blessed as I have always played or coached soccer all my life so I do not really feel I have had a job, more I get paid for doing what I love. My family are all healthy, good people. What more can one ask for?
Cast a vision for me: Where do you want to see Temecula FC in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope the National Premier Soccer League has grown in numbers and fans and is professional. Hopefully the community gets behind the club as they are providing a wonderful opportunity for local youngsters and serving some exciting entertainment and coaching for young people.
What's your favorite book, regardless of genre?
At school I never read a book beginning to end as I was obsessed with soccer. Aged 16 a friend gave me a book called Siddartha which changed my life and I became an avid reader. Novel wise the best ever is War and Peace. I love Dickens and Steven King but favorite US book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Cannot believe the number of Americans who have never heard of it.
Favorite soccer player. One past, one present.
The best soccer player of all time is Pele who scored 2 goals in a World cup final at age 17. The best I played against were Cruyff and Beckenbauer. Three years ago Messi was superb but I think he has sadly lost a bit of enthusiasm for the game. Again 3 years ago I thought Barcelona were best ever, they had it all: composure, they were competitive, creative and played with class.
What would you like to say to the people reading this article about why they should get out and support the lower levels of American soccer?
A couple of things about soccer in the USA.
People must get together and work together for the good of the game as opposed to it being a business and competing with everyone. In Holland and England most grass roots coaches are volunteers whose motive is giving back to the game. Our job is to inspire this love for the game and see our young players still playing when they are 30 and 40 .
We must let them play more and coach less. Then we will have more intelligent and creative players. Play small sided games where they are free to dribble and run with the ball and have FUN.
Willie, thanks again for taking the time to do this. Remember, if you are enjoying the content I'm putting out, I'd encourage you to click here to Follow me on Twitter, or here to Like the page on Facebook. And if you'd like to read these interviews before everyone else, and make sure you aren't missing anything, click here and sign up for the newsletter. You'll be the first to know when articles are released and learn about other exciting content down the road. Make sure to spread the word by sharing these interviews, telling friends about the blog, those kind of things. I can't accomplish my goal of maximum exposure for all levels of the American Soccer Pyramid without YOU. Until next time, Stay Loyal, Support Local.
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