Wayne Harrison, a former professional player with Blackpool F.C. in England and former Youth Director at Al Ain Football Club in the UAE, will join San Diego Surf SC as Boys Director of Coaching beginning on December 1, 2012. Harrison holds a UEFA ‘A’ license, the NSCAA Premier Diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Physiology and Sports Psychology. In addition, Harrison is a well known and respected author with eleven books published on soccer player development and coaching.
“Wayne comes highly recommended and is enthusiastic to join our organization,” said Surf Director of Coaching Colin Chesters. “His experience implementing a consistent style of play from grassroots to the Academy level is what our Club needs right now.”
Chesters continued, “Harrison’s teaching background will help move our entire coaching staff to the next level. One of his real passions in soccer is coach education and helping others improve themselves. His enthusiasm and personality will energize our boys’ side.”
Harrison spent three years as an English Football Association County Coaching Director, teaching coaching courses and licensing for local coaches in his region. He was also Center of Excellence Director for Youth Player and Coach Development for four years at Blackpool, a famous professional club in England, after playing there as a professional player.
After coming to the United States, Harrison was Director of Coaching with Eden Prairie SC in Minnesota for nine years, as well as presenting development clinics at state, regional and national coaching education conventions. He has worked extensively with the ODP and NSCAA organizations and also teaches licensing for the NSCAA as a staff coach.
In his work with player development, Harrison created what he calls Awareness Training to help improve and accelerate training. He implemented this methodology while at Al Ain, a professional soccer club in the United Arab Emirates and a former Asian Champions League winner. In his two years as Academy Director, overseeing 42 full-time coaches, the club had the most successful professional academy in the country, winning seven youth national championships.
“The ultimate goal in coaching is helping each player develop his or her talents and abilities to the fullest,” Harrison told SoccerNationNews in an earlier interview. “With this in mind, I created my Awareness Training philosophy of developmental coaching and training over many years of experimentation. It simply means training the mind before the body.”
During his time at Al Ain, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, through Inter Milan Consultant Marco Monte, and the Asian Soccer Federation voted the club’s academy as the top professional academy and the best youth academy in the country. They called it the closest model to the top academies in European professional soccer clubs.
“Wayne has written eleven soccer coaching books,” said Chesters, “one of which is on the 4-2-3-1 system, which we will be considering for our boys program from U11 to U18. The goal is to develop consistency throughout the program, per the U.S. Soccer Federation Academy directives.”
“Additionally, he has developed coaching developmental training programs for all the age groups, from U7 to U18, which we will develop further at the Surf soccer club to fall in line with the U.S. Federation Directives for coach and player education development,” Chesters explained.
Looking forward, Chesters is enthusiastic about the knowledge and experience Harrison will bring to the club. “Our plan for him for the remainder of 2012-2013 season is to evaluate the current state of the boys side of the club, get to know the coaches and players and help us follow U.S. Soccer’s recommendations of a consistent style of play and best practices. He will also be taking responsibility for two boys’ teams within the club. Beginning in 2013-2014 season, he will be heading up the Academy program in addition to being the Boys Director.”
Chesters sees exhilarating changes on the horizon with Harrison on board. “We have a excellent group of existing coaches,” he said, “and with the addition of Wayne and his focus on the boys’ side of our program, I am excited for the Surf Soccer Club’s future.”
Harrison says, “I am really thrilled to join Surf Soccer Club and I can’t wait to get started. I am very impressed with everything I have seen and eager to meet all the Surf coaches, players and families. I have been dedicated to developing youth soccer players for decades and being the Director of the Boys program offers me a great opportunity to help develop the next generation of top notch soccer players.”