Gary Curneen Interview Dylan O’Connell
Gary Curneen is a WORLD RENOWNED football journalist and coach who works as Assistant Coach at National Women’s Soccer League club Chicago Red Stars in the United States.
The Northern Ireland native, who holds a UEFA A LICENSE and has over 45,000 followers on Twitter, also runs Modern Soccer Coach, a database for coaches to help them to learn and evolve.
His work has produced three worldwide BEST-SELLING books on football COACHING: The Modern Soccer Coach: Position-Specific Training, The Modern Soccer Coach: Pre-Season Training, and The Modern Soccer Coach: 30 College Training Session Plans.
Gary: “I left Ireland at age 18 to go and play college soccer in US (Wingate University in NC),” he told Pro-Scout 3.
Gary: “At the start, things were very difficult. Initially, I was very homesick and didn’t think I was going to stick it. Every day for six months I wanted to come home. Thankfully I didn’t and after overcoming that I loved every single minute of it. Looking back now, I enjoyed the college sports set-up and football every day.”
Gary: “After graduating, the Head Coach offered me a job as a graduate assistant coach, which is basically an apprenticeship where you get room and board, and do a masters degree. I also started taking my COACHING courses because of that and it went from there.”
On his COACHING journey, Gary has worked as Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Cincinnati, and Head Women’s Soccer Coach at California State University before settling into his current role in Chicago. While taking this pathway, one thing has remained constant: coach education.
Gary: “I think it’s a massive part of COACHING,” he said, “Learning how to structure your thoughts about the game is a process in itself, never mind structuring a session or an environment. As you move up the ladder in coaching you typically have more areas to oversee, and without education it would be very difficult to build a skillset to do so.”
Gary: “In my own PHILOSOPHY, I’m passionate about growth and improvement in every facet of the game, staff and players. As I get older, culture has become more about actions and behaviours. The more connected they are to the game style, the more skilled the coach for me. I think a role of a coach should be to impact and enhance every aspect of the environment through your ability to organise, recruit, build, and change. In other words, it never stops.”
Gary: “Right now, I just want to continue to have great experiences around the game. Go on journeys with like-minded people, make a contribution in some way, and enjoy my work. The older I get, the more I want to go in every day to an environment that I can be inspired by and enjoy getting better myself.”