Marystown United head coach Vince Pickett has been involved with the game of soccer for nearly 40 years. Over the course of time, I have witnessed him playing the game, coaching the game and being involved at the administrative level., both regionally and provincially. Oh yes ! Mr. Pickett has been a colourful individual. Iíve seen Vince being cheered and I have seen him being jeered, but the end result is, this man has survived the critics because of his unquestionable passion for the game. In speaking with Vince, you can sense he is genuine and honest. Thatís not to say he wonít try and bend the rules to accommodate himself or the club he represents!. Just recently I asked Mr. Pickett 20 questions and here are his replies.
1.Q. What is your full name?
Vincent Joseph Pickett
2. Q. What is your occupation?
3. Q. How long have you been involved with the sport of soccer?
At the regional and provincial level - 38 years
4. Q. What is your personal motto that you coach by?
To get the best effort out of each individual player. That each player gives 100% effort at all times
5. Q. What was your greatest accomplishment as a player?
Reaching the finals at the Canadian University Championships in Sudbury in 1971.
6. Q. What was your greatest disappointment as a player?
I guess you could say not winning the Canadian University Championship. We lost the final by a 1-0 score. I would also like to mention that in the days when the Burin Peninsula Championship was very meaningful, not winning the Burin Peninsula Championship in all the years I played was disappointing.
7. Q. What was your greatest accomplishment as a coach?
There were a number of accomplishments that I am proud of as a coach, from being involved in the local minor soccer program in Marystown, to coaching various Burin Peninsula Teams at the National Club Championship. But the Silver Medal accomplishments achieved at the 2001 Canada Games is very special
8. Q. What has been your greatest disappointment as a coach?
At this point, not helping Marystown win the Provincial Challenge Cup.
9. Q. Name the top 3 players that you played with?
There were many great players that I had the opportunity to play with over the years so it is very difficult to name three, but to answer I would say among the best were Howard Walsh, Bernard ( Fox ) Reddy and Frank Brenton. I played with both Howard and Frank with Marystown while I was a team-mate of Fox during my years at Memorial University.
10. Q. Name the top 3 players that you played against?
Again, there were so many great players throughout the years. To name only three really is an injustice to the many players I played against, however among the many were Junior Edwards, Wils Molloy and Bow Collier.
11. Q. Whatís one thing thatís related to soccer that bugs you?
That many people involved in the game are satisfied to keep things as they are. Refusal to attempt to carry the game to new heights without losing focus of the game at the ground root level. Although we are moving forward in some ways we should be doing more.
12. Q. As a coach, what are your best qualities?
Passion for the game; an understanding of how the game should be played depending upon different situations; to improve the player's technical aspect of the game.
13. Q. As a coach, what are your worst qualities?
Impatience; sometimes too demanding; expectation for players to perform at a high level constantly.
14. Q. Some people feel as a coach you are surrounded by controversy . True or False ?
True, without a doubt !!
15. Q. Which soccer personality inspires you?
There are a number of soccer personalities who are inspiring. Pele of Brazil, David Beckham of Real Madrid and of course Allan Ross who coached at Memorial .
16. Q. What is the most vivid dream you've ever had when it comes to soccer?
Every now and then I dream about a number of us out playing in the meadow using only sticks for goals and I really don't know why.
17. Q. What is your most treasured soccer award?
The Silver Medal of the 2001 Canada Games
18. Q. Whoís one player you'd love to add to strengthen your team?
If I could take one player that is currently playing for another team, I would choose Richard Kelly. Richard is a very dynamic player who always plays to win and has a great passion for playing. Whenever he plays he is always a threat and a danger to the opposing players.
19 Q. After 2004, what is in store for Vince Pickett and senior soccer in Marystown?
I am putting an extra effort into the senior program this year in the hope that we will be successful. There are, however, no guarantees in anything. You just put your best effort forward and with some luck and a lot of hard work, you might be successful. I will not be involved in the Marystown soccer program next year, but I am sure there are others who will step up and help the executive keep our program going.
20. Q. If you were president of the NLSA what's one thing you would change?
To keep moving the program forward without losing sight of the club system. There are soccer people who believe that I favour the all-star program over the club system. This is certainly not true. There has to be room for both and they must compliment each other. It is very difficult at present because we do not have the numbers anymore. We need more exposure for our players and we need to bring more national and international profile to the province.
Gord Dunphy is a former 1990ís Challenge Cup All - Star coach of the St. Lawrence Laurentians and National Bronze Medallist. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org