Coach's Corner

Coaching & Alberta Bound

By Gord Dunphy

Early in July, I was asked by BPSA president Newman Barrlett if I were interested in coaching the Boy’s Under-16 Team. After some consideration, I answered that I would, but only after I had completed the duties I had assigned to me of being St. Lawrence’s town representative at Burin Peninsula’s First Summer Games from July 15-22, 2001. From July 23 - August 5, 2001, I assembled a team with the hope of winning a provincial "A" tournament and that should we win I would again have another opportunity at coaching for my fourth time at a national tournament.

On August 9- 11, 2001, I had the pleasure of coaching the Burin Peninsula Under-16 Team. Coaching a regional team from an area of Newfoundland known as "The Boot" and having to select twenty players from a mere twenty-five list try out, certainly is a tall order, knowing what the competition would be like. St. John’s has a soccer registration enrolment of 3,300 kids and Mount Pearl’s present enrolment is starting to approach the 1,500 plateau.

The Burin Peninsula should be proud of their winning this Provincial "A" Under-16 Tournament. I feel it speaks volumes towards the sport of soccer on the peninsula.

"Respected Coaches"

Over the course of years, I have appreciated and respected a number of coaches which I played for (Len Slaney-minor, Neil Edwards & Keith Farrell-high school, Jerome Slaney-Intermediate) and maybe my hard-nose approach was obtained from having played for Jack Simms at a first division level.

I still remember and have an admiration for former Laurentian greats Alonzo Walsh and Jack Lundrigan, display their coaching talent when I was a kid.

The coach I most idolized was Brian Murphy of the Holy Cross Crusaders and Brian is the only Newfoundland coach to have to his credit a national challenge cup title.

I realize that two big contributors to both the Challenge Cup titles which Burin won in 1990 and 1991 were head coach Tom Riley and his side kick, Clarence Senior.

Maybe the top coach of all time in the history of soccer in Newfoundland was Allan Ross, because of his knowledge of the game as well as his technical approach.

Presently, I feel the top coach today in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is NLSA’s present technical director, Dragon Mirkovic.

The St. Lawrence Laurentians coach Junior Edwards should undoubtedly be "Challenge Cup All - Star Coach" for the 2001 Challenge Cup season.

Just as playing the sport of soccer maybe in some peoples’ blood, I love the coaching and the analysing aspect of the game.

I understand that while "A great team may make a coach look good, a great coach will make a good team look great."

"Alberta Bound"

Meanwhile, when recording artist Gordon Lightfoot wrote the song titled "Alberta Bound", I really don’t think he was thinking about coaching or the twenty young boys who comprise the Burin Peninsula Under-16 "A" Champions who will travel to Edmonton, Alberta from October 3 - 8, 2001 to participate in the National Under-16 Boy’s Tournament.

What I would like to do is revise a few of the words in his tune and contribute them to following Under-16 BPSA players: Brent Kelly, Marc Pittman, Justin Mayo, Leonard Edwards, Ian Brenton, Jeff Slaney, Nicholas Hurley, Gordon Ghaney, T.J. Turpin, Robbie Squires, Ian Cusick, Kevin Kennedy, Mark Dunphy, Patrick Lake, N.J.Edwards, Troy Edwards, Ryan Lane, Josh Moulton, Grant Abbott, and Chad Chislett.

Oh the prairie lights are burnin' bright

The soccer team has won the right

The boys will be Alberta bound

Our fundraising may take its toll

But our old luck been so good

In October, we'll be Alberta bound

Though we will do the best we can

This soccer trip we’ll never forget nor

The Rocky Mountain sunset

It’s a pleasure just to be Alberta bound

Just to play and hope to win

We’ve practised time and time again

They‘ll know what kind of shape were in

For soccer in Alberta we are bound

Alberta bound, Alberta bound

It's good to be Alberta bound

Alberta bound, Alberta bound

It's good to coach a group of kids and have them Alberta bound !!!