Amongst his many duties as club ambassador, Vancouver Whitecaps FC legend Carl Valentine has always maintained a passion for coaching. Whether it’s been camps, clinics, or school visits, getting out on the field and teaching lessons to young players is a responsibility that the World Cup veteran enjoys.
Today, Whitecaps FC are pleased to announce that - in addition to his current responsibilities as club ambassador - Carl will also serve as a staff coach with the club’s U-16 boys Residency team. Below, Carl talks about the excitement of returning to coaching.
I was not sure what to think when I was approached to assist with coaching our U-16 Residency boys. As many of you know, I am loving my role as club ambassador. It gets me involved in every part of the club, and that is something I greatly enjoy.
It has been a number of years since I have coached at this level. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. At first I was honoured that I was considered for this position, as I know how important developing young players is to the club. And then I was excited at the thought of coaching young players again.
Most of my life has been dedicated to playing and coaching – it was what I was born to do. I have always been grateful to have had as much success as I have had in my career.
When Vancouver first joined Major League Soccer I talked to the club in hopes of getting on board in a coaching role. There were none available at the time, but thankfully they found a position for me as club ambassador.
The job has evolved and I am proud of the work that’s been done with the help of my many co-workers. We are still only in our infancy as an MLS club, and we continue to learn and grow together.
I have spent a couple of weeks with the coaching staff and players and am very excited about mentoring these young players in the Residency program. What we have in place right now is first class and is working, so I do not have be there to reinvent anything, but rather to complement what is already in place.
I have been fortunate enough to have played at a high level throughout my career and now I get a chance to pass on some insight to the many young players on what it takes to make it as a professional soccer player. I can now share my knowledge with them and add another key element to our coaching staff.
I will still continue to do my work as club ambassador and do great things in the community and with our fans – that’s something both the club and I take great pride in.
I have always tried to be the best in everything I have been asked to do, and this new challenge has me very excited to help our next generation of players achieve their full potential.
Catch me @CarlTwoOne and check out my columns before and after every Whitecaps FC MLS match.