If you are a true professional academy you need people in the academy that can speak to their experiences across a number of platforms that shows it is more than just a statement. To the end meet UDA - IASA soccer exit trial co coordinator and professional advisor, coach Mick Priest.
Coach Priest has a long and distinguished journey as a coach – he has worked at all ends of the football spectrum gaining valuable experience in player development over his 25 year coaching career.
Priest has worked as first team coach at Fulham FC and with other coaches and managers in the premiership, such as Rene Meulensteen, first team coach at Manchester Untied and Manager at Fulham FC.
When Priest was asked about which players he has worked with at a youth level the list is impressive. Priest stated, “ I have worked with players who are currently playing in the Premier League as well as throughout the football league.”
He went onto say, “Some of the players I have helped along the way into Premiership football include:
Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Danny Simpson (Leicester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Phil Bardsley (Burnley), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Joel Coleman (Huddersfield Town), Oliver Norwood (Brighton) Dale Stephens (Brighton), Steve Sidwell (Brighton), Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth, and US), Jonny Evans (WBA), Tom Cleverley (Watford).
When Priest was asked about what makes a player and what professional managers look for Priest stated, “Players who dominate the 1v1 either defensively or attacking, but ideally both.
Athletic/physical ability (agility, pace, strength, stamina, but also the ability to use them)
Mentality: players with personality, good character, winning mentality, leaders (by words and or actions). Tactically: basics, (e.g.) does a defender know he is a defender?
Priest went onto to say, “Do players understand their roles and responsibilities on the pitch, players who make more good decisions than bad? Technically: good range of all the skills, but with certain areas that can help them make a difference, make them unpredictable (tricks, turns, moves).”
When asked about his role in the UDA-IASA Soccer academy Priest stated, “I will be able to help, access, and develop players, with my extensive contacts both in England and abroad. I will be able to help place suitable players, should they be good enough. At the very least give them opportunity and exposure to a number of Scandinavian clubs where I have extensive contacts in the game not to mention those in the UK.”
In short the word “professional” is more than just a statement at the UDA-IASA Soccer Academy when it comes to the qualification and experiences of their staff.