On Friday we teamed up again with our friends at North American Irish Coaches to interview New York Red Bulls Academy Director, Sean McCafferty. He has had an interesting journey in the game and it was fascinating to hear about his perspectives working as Director with FC Barcelona’s Barca Residency Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona. The Barcelona philosophy is certainly a well known one to most coaches, but the complexities of how it is taught and adapted towards the younger age groups is perhaps not as famous, but maybe even more important for coaches. I really enjoyed hearing Sean’s perspective on how they are trying to improve that decision making component over here, as our culture in the US is still dominated by transitions.
Another aspect of the interview I enjoyed was Sean’s perspective on what makes a good coach for the Red Bulls Academy. I think you would be forgiven for thinking that they would be looking at someone who could master complex tactical components, or a certain training methodology, but Sean pointed to the ‘human’ factors first and foremost. Although you do need the soccer side to work at that level, I think it’s refreshing (and important) to hear that enthusiasm, communication, work ethic, trust, and general ‘good banter’ are all important for a coach to interact and positively impact young players every day. Last week, Jim Magilton talked about the importance of the personality of the coach, and it was interesting that this was something Sean brought up as well. Overall, a really enjoyable interview and a fascinating inside into a really forward thinking club and coach.
You can watch the full replay below:
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