Before living in America I grew up in Wales in the United kingdom where I started playing soccer at a very young age. My favorite team is Manchester United and my first ever game was in 1994 at Old Trafford against Nottingham Forest. We lost 2-1 but I will never forget that walk up the stairs entering into the field of dreams, plus I still have the ticket.
My dream growing up was to be a professional footballer and my idols were Eric Cantona and Roy Keane. Cantona was a genius and I used to love watching him play. He scored so many important goals for United and was an inspiration to the younger players. Keane was the epitome of what a footballer was at that time in England. He was a leader and his work ethic was off the charts, he could do everything on a football field, he was also my dad’s favorite player.
I played for a few youth teams growing up Prestatyn Town, Abergele Rovers, Colwyn Bay, Conwy United, Rhuddlan Town and when I was 16 signed for Rhyl FC, whose senior side played in the Welsh Premier league, and qualified for the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. I stayed at Rhyl FC for 3 years before signing for Glan Conwy in the Welsh Alliance league at the semi professional level.
During that time I started to think about what do to outside of football and looked at attending University while still playing. By pure luck and then a lot of hard work I was able to find a College in America where I could play and earn a degree at the same time. In 2009 I signed my letter of intent to play College Soccer at Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids, IA) for Coach Amir Hadzic. I played all 4 years at Mount Mercy University making it to Nationals on one occasion and made 3 out of 4 conference tournament finals.
During my time in Iowa I started to get more involved in coaching. I volunteered at numerous soccer clubs in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. I was also the head coach at Franklin Middle School and assistant varsity coach at Cedar Rapids Xavier High School.
After graduating college I moved to Chicago and started to look at full time coaching opportunities. Whilst looking I was able to complete my E and D USSF coaching licenses. My first club in Illinois was Lombard Firebirds in the suburbs of Chicago, while there I also worked for a college recruiting company and leaned a lot about college soccer recruiting. I spent 4 years in Lombard before finding a new home at Chicago City Soccer Club. In-between clubs I completed my USSF C license in the summer of 2017 and I hope to complete further coaching education in the near future.
Since being at Chicago City I have been impressed with every aspect of the club. I have personally benefited both on and off the field from the guidance of the fantastic leadership at the club. I am excited to be on this journey with Chicago City soccer club and cannot wait to see what the future holds.