Q&A: Chris Morgan, Wolves Men’s Soccer Head Coach
Chris Morgan, hailing from Belfast, N. Ireland, will continue in his role as head coach of the GPRC Wolves Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams for the 2019-2020 season.
We caught up with Morgan, who is heading into his fourth year leading the Wolves soccer programs, to learn more about his roots, his passion and how he plans to lead the team to success this season.
What made you decide to be a coach?
I began coaching once I finished playing in my mid-thirties, so you could say I am a late starter to the coaching game! I started as a volunteer coach for my son’s team at U13 within my local club, the Carryduff Colts back in Ireland. I must have done a decent job as my close friend, Eamon Deeney who is still chairman at the club asked me to continue coaching. The late Stevie Milburn who was the head coach of the club at the time encouraged me to obtain my coaching badges. I learnt so much on the UEFA C and B courses allowing me to study the game from a different perspective.
What are the highlights of your career path that brought you to GPRC?
Winning the League with Carryduff Colts senior team for the first time in the Club’s history was a great occasion. I had coached the team from U13 to U18 and continued to the men’s league and had watched the boys develop into young men. I still keep in touch with a lot of the team today. We had great camaraderie and togetherness that was the basis of our success.
What do you want GPRC athletes to know about you?
I think they already know that I am a passionate guy! I want them to know that I genuinely care about them as people first and want them to have an enjoyable experience with me.
As a coach, I want to connect with the players on a personal level before any coaching begins. I place a lot of emphasis on honesty, integrity, humbleness and being a team player. The team comes first always.
What’s one thing you think every coach should know?
Make connections and understand your players first and foremost creating a learning environment by being open and honest. By doing this, the players will develop and enjoy the game.
How would your athletes describe your coaching style?
Passionate, obsessed and caring. I love the game and want the players to fulfill the potential that they have. The post-secondary years are some of the best years of their lives. They will look back with memories and hopefully have no regrets.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
Read books constantly - normally on soccer and leadership – I have a thirst for knowledge. I love spending time with my wife who is by best friend. I love travelling and listening to Irish music which reminds me of home.
Final thoughts on the opportunity of a fresh season ahead?
I hope the program continues to grow. We have young teams next year for both men and women. It is exciting with young teams as you know there will be mistakes but there is also a real hunger to succeed, a freshness to please and if they play without fear, we can hopefully surprise a few teams. It will be interesting to see how the new recruits settle into their new surroundings. I’m looking forward to it.
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