Coach's Corner

An Honor and a Privilege

Southern Gazettte May 26. 2009

By Gord Dunphy

An Honor and a Privilege

Since the final whistle blew to bring an end of play in the 2008 Challenge Cup season, a great deal of soccer undertakings has occurred particularly at the provincial administration level of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association. Some new faces have been added while some very familiar and prominent soccer personalities remain. Members from the previous executive include President, Doug Redmond, Vice President of Youth, Judi Kelloway and Secretary Dave Legrow. The new people that have joined the ranks are Doug Kirby who replaces George Babcock as Treasurer; Denise Hickey joins the NLSA as Vice President of Senior Women’s. Hickey replaced Paul Miller and yours truly was elected as Vice President of the NLSA Senior Men’s. I have replaced Kevin Pittman, who has completed his second term in office and had left the province for employment in Alberta.

NLSA President – “Doug Redmond”

There is no doubt that an association is only as good as one’s leader. The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association over the years have had some great leaders, but as far as I’m concerned, Doug Redmond can rank up with the best. Personally, I’ve known Doug Redmond for a long time and I know of his abilities. I feel he is the most dedicated volunteer in all of sports in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is not an aggressive type of person or the kind of guy that is in your face. Basically, as I see it, Doug is there all the time and he goes about his business very quietly and effectively. He is very well respected at the provincial level by all of Sport NL and he is highly regarded at the National Soccer Level as well.. As a sound leader he gets the job done and he has surrounded himself with some very high quality, knowledgeable and well respected soccer individuals. Behind the scenes, he works closely with a very strong group of his supporters. They include Provincial Hall of Famer’s Jeff Babstock, Brian Murphy and Brian Walsh. Plus he has good administrative support from both Bob Antle and Dave Legrow. On the newly formed strategical planning side of matters, Calvin Randell brings his expertise as he chairs this committee. Then on the technical side, Doug has Dragon Mirkovic and Mike Power working with him. To further ensure the association is positively showcased, from a public relations perspective, Doug has recruited “Mr. Media”, Dee Murphy.

Strong supporting cast

The NLSA is also supported by a group of ten directors, representing all the regions of the Province. Their duties are to address and represent the needs of their region to the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association. Actually, they are a group of dedicated directors that assist the NLSA in performing their duties. This group includes: Shane Dunphy - B.P.S.A , Jeff Clancey - Avalon, Sharon Langer - Western, Trevor Paine-Labrador East, Bob Antle - St. John’s, Ron O'Neill - Mount Pearl, Chris Murley - Central, Don Stoddart-Labrador West, Pat Wells - Conception Bay South, Ronald Manet – St.Pierre /Michelon and Rob Antle is the director of officials.

An Honour and a Privilege!

For me to serve on the NLSA executive, I feel it’s an honour and a privilege. To hold the title as Senior Vice President of NLSA Men’s Soccer is something that I probably would have only dreamed about at one time. However, now that I am at what I would consider a mature age, plus with the experience that I’ve gotten in soccer in four decades and the confidence and competence in my abilities, I felt why not go for it. I think it’s a very small understatement to say, “I have a great passion for soccer” I realize it’s a big undertaking to be Vice President of the NLSA and I do realize that St. Lawrence will always be home to me.. However, I have no problem in publicly stating and guaranteeing all parties that, should it be it at the Challenge Cup, Intermediate or Master’s Level, my goal is to promote the game and to initiate growth. I want to ensure that all regions and teams in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador are respected and treated fairly.

My goal

The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association, as I see it, is an administrative body that must look out for soccer in all of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I feel far too often our soccer program has only been focused on the Avalon and the Burin Peninsula. While I will try and improve upon the senior programs in the traditional established areas, I will also try to generate growth in the central, western and the Labrador portion of our province. One must realize that in 2008 we had only 4 senior Challenge Cup teams and it is the responsibility of the NLSA to address this matter.

The beauty of being challenged

Now, that I am closely involved with the operations of the NLSA I can honestly tell you that there is a tremendous amount of volunteer work in the operating of this provincial organization that has a 13,000 membership. Yes, there may be mountains to climb, bridges to cross and hurdles to get over, but that’s the beauty of being challenged.

Dunphy’s Details: The soccer community mourns the loss of what I consider to be one of Newfoundland’s, “Greatest Soccer Fans”. Keithy Walsh of St. Lawrence who passed away on May 11, 2009 will be remembered as a loyal Laurentian supporter and a friend of all who played soccer in Newfoundland and Labrador. He will be missed.