Mark Simpson: Boys Director of Coaching
Personal: Born in North Shields, Newcastle and played for Wallsend Boys Clubs and signed for Nottingham Forest aged 14. Moved to the US after completing A Levels and went to Rutgers University on a soccer scholarship. Completed degree in Economics with Human Geography at Loughborough University and played for England and British Universities. Worked for UK Elite Soccer coaching company for 2 years then started Maestro Soccer. After a year moved to Winston Salem to work for TCYSA in a variety of roles and is currently Classic Boys Director of Coaching.
NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
TCYSA Boys Director of Coaching: 2012 - Present
TCYSA U11 – U14 Boys Director: 2008 - 2012
TCYSA Assistant Director of Coaching: 2005 -2008
Maestro Soccer Academy, Staff Coach: 2003 – 2004
UK Elite Soccer, Staff Coach: 2001 – 2003
Associated with Nottingham Forest Football Club
England Schoolboy U18’s
Great Britain Universities
BSc Economics at Loughborough University
Getting to know Boys DOC Mark Simpson...................
How young/ old were you when you decided to coach
I don’t think there was a certain age as I always enjoyed playing so much and when I was younger felt you started coaching when you stopped playing. In that my parents had both been teachers and how much I enjoyed reading and learning about the game it was definitely the right path for me.
How did you get into coaching?
I took a coaching licence in England whilst still at University in England and worked a few years of Rutgers soccer camps but started full time coaching working for UK Elite Soccer based in New Jersey after completing my degree. That expereince gave me a great foundation to working with youth players of all ages and abilities and finding ways to make sessions work, they also offered excellent professional development as a coach.
What do you like about coaching?
I like the fact it requires a lot of thought and there is so much more to learn about what in essence is a very simple game. There is an art to coaching and two coaches can coach identical sessions but the differences in the quality of the session and the understanding of the players can be high. It is also so rewarding to see teams you coach playing in a style of play that reflects your philsophy of the game and players enjoying the experience because of this.
What has been your greatest coaching moment?
I don’t think I have a greatest coaching moment. I just enjoy the games where your team is successful through workrate, determination and play with quality when the players win the ball and to see the players reactions after the games is fantastic. I find it so frustrating in youth soccer where coaches take credit when their teams win, it will always be a players game.
What was your greatest moment as an athlete?
I think playing for England U18 schoolboys against Holland U18’s in the North-East will always be the best moment, especially with a lot of my friends and family at the game and to come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 made it more special.
When you stop coaching one day, what will you most want to be remembered for by the athletes you have coached?
I hope to be remembered as a players coach, someone who understands how to get the best out of players and gains respect and creates an environment where players want to play for you built on a strong reputation. I never look past the fact that it should be fun for the players and they should always enjoy coming to training and being part of the team.
What aspects of sports have you learned to appreciate since you have been a coach rather than an athlete?
I have learned to appreciate how fortunate I was and you have no idea the amount of people who work amazingly hard to provide the best possible environment for the players to develop. At TCYSA there are so many people who work behind the scenes that are absolutley vital to the success of the club. Without Lyn, Kristen, Kathy, Greg and Fred I am not sure where we would be!!!