Irish Football Association elite performance director, Jim Magilton, joined us Monday as we teamed up again with North American Irish Coaches . I was keen to discuss his youth experience at Liverpool, and his playing career in the Premier League, and his experiences on the management side of the game with Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers.
Jim's experience with Liverpool is certainly a powerful insight for any player or coach. His story about how he was just about to break into the Liverpool starting XI (who were dominating English football at the time) and had just made the bench for the Charity Shield when he was called in to see legendary manager, Kenny Dalglish, is funny, heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. There are not many managers who have moved on youth players with such a positive message that they need to be playing first team football and making a proper salary as Dalglish advised Jim. When he faced his old club for his debut at Southampton and got a big win for the Saints, you could forgive the Liverpool staff for going back to the changing room and stewing on it. But Roy Evans and Ronnie Moran waiting at the tunnel to tell him how proud they were of him speaks volume for the class of people that were in that famous Anfield 'Boot Room'.
As the conversation moved towards the coaching side of the game, you could feel a real level of humility from Jim as he discussed how he wasn't necessarily prepared for his first opportunity at Ipswich Town, transitioning almost immediately from a player to a manager, but he still pointed out that he was grateful for that opportunity. His education on the coaching side also pointed to where that humility has come from. He describes the ability of his assistant coach, Charlie Woods, to get people like Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Robson on the phone right away to get advice himself. As he advised and urged young coaches to appreciate the personality of the coach, he also reminded us all that "you're never too old to learn." The experiences that Jim has had in the game, the passion that has taken him to the levels that he's reached, and the open mindedness to still want to get better and pass it on to other people, all make this a really enjoyable and insightful hour.
Our goal is to provide the coaching community with as much daily content as possible in these times of uncertainty. If you would like to support Modern Soccer Coach, please go to our shop and order one of our books. Coaches can get 40% off every order by using the code MSCSPECIAL at checkout. Thank you!