Coach's Corner

Coach Anstey answers 20 questions

Southern Gazette JuJuly 4. 2007

By Gord Dunphy

Coach Albert Anstey Answers 20 Questions

Albert Anstey played competitive soccer with one mission in mind, to win every game he played while donning the Burin Eagles jersey.

Actually, I remember Albert as a very young kid, coming to St. Lawrence with his golden blond locks, competitive nature and the Laurentians fans would chant ďAlbert! Albert! Albert!Ē

I knew back then that this kid was very spirited.

Now Albert is back, after retiring from senior soccer and playing masters soccer with St. Lawrence, bringing his aggressive winning approach with him. Last season, he played a vital role when the St. Lawrence Laurentians won the Provincial Masters Championship, and then went on win the Eastern Canadian Title in P.E.I.

Meanwhile, Albertís other mission is to rebuild a strong Burin Eagles Senior Menís Challenge Cup Soccer Club. Albert started this rebuilding process last season, while bringing an enormous amount of respectability back to a first year soccer club.

There is no doubt Albert will be the first one to tell you the Eagles, in their sophomore season, are struggling.

When the Burin Eagles excelled and won the Provincial Challenge Cup in 1990 and 1991, Anstey did extremely well as a player. In both championship performances, he was selected as an all-star and was one of their standout players when Burin went on to compete at the Nationals in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

In 1991, Albert was named Burinís Athlete of the Year. That year he was nominated for provincial male Athlete of the Year as well.

In the 1993 season, when I coached the Laurentians to the first of three Challenge Cup Championships, I still remember Albertís standout performance in the title game.

Although Albert is relatively a newcomer to coaching at the Challenge Cup level, he is by no means a stranger to coaching. His coaching career started in the early 1980s with the Burin Minor Soccer Association, and in the late 1990s he became involved with the NLSA at the Provincial and National level.

He is an International darts performer and a member of the Canadian Darts Hall of Fame.

Hereís the answer to 20 questions, which I recently asked the Burin Eagles coach.

1. What is your full name and where were you born and raised?

Albert Peter Anstey and I was born and raised in Salt Pond, Burin.

2. What is your occupation?

Presently, Iím a maintenance electrician employed with Newfoundland Power.

3. How long have you been involved with the sport of soccer?

Iíve been involved with soccer for the past 37 years. I started playing when I was five years old.

4. What was your greatest accomplishment as a player?

Winning back-to-back Challenge Cup Titles in 1990 and in 1991.

5. What was your greatest disappointment as a player?

Losing the 1993 Challenge Cup Final to St. Lawrence, on a goal by Scott Bishop from center.

6. What is your personal motto that you coach by?

My motto is train hard, play hard and be patient. Patience is very important when coaching such a young team, because we would all like to see success now but as a coach if I donít show patience, this could destroy the young playersí confidence.

7. You were a world-class dart player, so where does playing darts for you compare to playing soccer?

They compare a little. As a dart player I trained a lot on my own and I had to be very committed to what I was doing. This holds true to soccer because with our short season and long off-season players need to keep training all year round and show they have commitment.

8. This season your job has taken you away from Burin Peninsula area, and you have been working in various places throughout the province. Do you feel you can honestly be effective coach when you are not there training and practicing your players on a regular basis.?

Yes, I feel I can be effective, but to do so I need to have committed players who want to become better. Also you must have the respect of a team, and that is something I feel I have. This all put together with a good coaching staff makes it all work out.

9. Name the top 3 players you played with.

The three top players would have to be Tom Riley, Rod Drake and Jeff Warren, in no particular order. Not to take away from any of my other teammates whom I feel were all good players.

10. Name the top 3 players you played against?

Iíve played against a lot of good players in my career but the best would have to be (Dr.) Paul Slaney, Harry Kelly and Brad Edwards. As a center back, these three players could give you fits.

11. What's one thing related to soccer that bugs you?

One thing that bugs me is the officiating, or I should say the inconsistent officiating. I think a lot has to do with all the rule changes and how everyone has a different interpretation of each rule. Remember Iím old school.

12. As a coach, what are your best qualities?

I think my best quality is my ability to motivate players and get the best out of them. I like to challenge players and if they want to be good players they like to be challenged. I also like to think of myself as an honest coach and this is how I think you earn respect.

13. As a coach, what are your worst qualities?

My worst quality would have to be I still show my emotions to easily. When Iím upset, I sometimes let my players see this and this in turn upsets them.

14. Name the toughest soccer player you ever played against in the province?

I think if I had to pick the toughest player, I would have to say Rod Roul, from Lawn. Rod was not a dirty player, but you always knew you were in a war when Rod was on the field.

15. What do you feel the future holds for Challenge Cup Soccer on the Burin Peninsula?

Sadly, I think there will be only one team here in a few years. Once the players St. Lawrence have right now get older and start moving on, the Burin Peninsula will be able to field one team. Even then it may very well take the players from all of the communities joining together to form a Burin Peninsula team. Out migration is going to be the ruination to soccer here on the peninsula.

16. What is the most vivid dream you've ever had when it comes to soccer?

Taking this 2007 group I have right now and winning the provincial Challenge Cup and then the National Championship. What a feeling that would be!

17. What is your most treasured soccer award?

There are several. The ĎTeam of the Year Awardí when we won our first Challenge Cup. Also I would have to include the Eastern Canadian Title I won with St. Lawrence last year. What a feeling that was. I would like to add, being inducted into the Canadian Darts Hall of Fame ranks very high.

18. Who's one Challenge Cup soccer player that is presently playing for another club that you'd love to add to strengthen your team?

I would have to say Clinton Edwards. Clinton is a player who excels at every position and is a player that every coach would love to have playing for him.

19. After 2007, whatís in store for Albert Anstey?

Not sure, but Iíll probably will be behind the bench again next year if they want me. Time will tell.

20. If you were president of the NLSA what's one thing you would change?

I was impressed with the St. Johnís Molson Canadian Tournament held in St. Johnís when the Halifax Athens came over but I wasnít impressed with the timing. I would like to see more quality teams coming here, and all our teams having a chance to participate not just a select few. Hopefully, this can be improved up on in the future.