Coaching Bios

john-smith-bio John Smith - President

John Smith was well-known as one of the premier place-kickers in the National Football League from 1973-1983. To gain teaching experience, John came to the United States from England in the summers of 1970-72 and developed soccer programs at two different summer camps in western Massachusetts. His shooting power in soccer did not go unnoticed and the New England Patriots invited him to try out as a placekicker in 1973. He led the NFL in scoring in 1979 and 1980 and was voted All-Pro.

John was instrumental in organizing the World Cup Campaign for Boston prior to 1994. During the event, he worked as the soccer analyst for Channel 5 TV and Cable News. For the past 34 years, he has run his own camps and clinics in Massachusetts. John has been instrumental in starting youth soccer programs in various towns, as well as teaching thousands of coaches and parents to enjoy working with young soccer players of all ability levels.  John holds an Honors Degree in Education from King Alfred's College in England.

John will be coaching B9 Premier, G9 Premier and G14 Premier in the Spring 2017.

"John, I was just looking through some old photos and came across one of you and I when I was very young. You were my Patriot idol and inspired to be a football player, including kicker and punter. At the time, I had "Forrest Gump" braces, crutches, etc. You took the time to come over and pull me aside for a photo. Just wanted you to know how much taking just a minute of your time to say hi to a little fan inspired my success in athletics as a youth and a young adult."

"Coach Smith was one of the best, most gracious coaches we've every played against. I've never seen such a wonderful interaction from an opposing coach! We're still talking about how classy they (coach and players) were."

"I love John Smith! Pulling in the other day (to the soccer field) and watching him work one on one with a single younger player just always puts a big smile on my face, a reflection of his smile, as he obviously enjoys every minute of working with our youth of today! They don't make them like him these days, as we could use more men like him in this world."

 
Bermuda-Fel cropped copy Felicity Day - Director of Coaching

The tradition continues with Felicity, John's eldest daughter, joining the family business after a successful college career at Mary Washington College. After being named All-American at college, Felicity went on to play for Arsenal Women's Team in England.

Felicity progressed to coach at the collegiate level for two years and is now the full time Coaching Director at John Smith Soccer Schools and Sports Center. She has received her NSCAA Premier Diploma in coaching, one of a handful of women in the country to have received this highest coaching qualification With Distinction. Felicity is on now the NSCAA Academy Coaching Staff and travels around the country coaching youth and college coaches. Felicity was inducted into the University of Mary Washington's sports Hall of Fame in October 2009.

Since the inception of JSSA, Felicity has earned her NSCAA GK Level 1 and Level 2 Diplomas, NSCAA Player Development Diplomas, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, as well as the Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate. Felicity has also written the club's academy curriculum (U6-U14) and is currently working with the Boys and Girls Directors to complete the U15-U18 curriculum. The requirement that all JSSA coaches go through concussion training and receive the Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate was also established by Felicity Day, as well as the club's concussion policy.

"Thank you for your on-going hard work with (my daughter) and the rest of the team. It is very much appreciated."

"Felicity, I just wanted to send you a quick email to say WOW! I watched you take the boys' practice yesterday and all I can say is WOW, what a great practice! I am amazed at how you were able to keep a fairly large group of 11 and 12 year old boys active, engaged, learning new skills and having fun! I was so impressed with how well things were managed and what great coaching you were able to do. I had to take a minute and say thank you! We have had many moments when we sit back and think how very happy we are that we chose JSSA and that JSSA chose us...and this was one of them! Thank you again!"

"Felicity, I want to compliment you and John on your organization. We have had a nice introduction to the experience of boys' club soccer, after having a miserable experience with another club last year. We applaud everything that you and your father are doing and stand for in your organization. Thank you."

 
EsadDarman Esad Darman - Director of Coaching West

Credentials

  • Founder and Coaching Director of FC Napoli 1998-2015
  • Head Boys and Girls Coach, Marianapolis Prep HS, CT
  • Soccer Development Director, Marianapolis Prep HS, CT
  • Former Asst. Coach, College of the Holy Cross, MA
  • Former Professional Player, 19 years
  • Former National Recruiter for Yugoslavia and Germany
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • GU15 JSSA Napoli Head Coach
  • GU18/19 JSSA Napoli Head Coach
 
 
Martin Doherty Martin Doherty - Boys Director

Credentials

  • Irish FA Level 1
  • Irish FA Level 2
  • NSCAA National Diploma
  • NSCAA GK Level 1 Diploma
  • USSF 'F' License
  • USSF 'E' License
  • Played for Ireland National team, U14-U19
  • BA in Sports Development
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • BU10 Premier Head Coach
  • BU12 Elite Head Coach
    BU17 Elite Head Coach

"I wanted to express my high level of satisfaction with the boys' coach, Martin. Having two kids involved in soccer, I can say that coach Martin was dedicated, knowledgeable, passionate, and caring. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the other parents on the team as well."

"We couldn't be more happy with Coach Martin. He is kind, encouraging, realistic, fair and appropriately tough. It is Coach Martin who has made this a tremendous and rewarding experience for my daughter. She has great confidence and her skills are improving."

"I wanted to let you know what an outstanding job Coach Martin did with our boys this fall. Our son loved his experience and it was because of Coach Martin. He inspired him, challenged him to get better at each and every practice, made him laugh, encouraged him to support teammates, found ways to show him how to dig deep and come back from behind in games and just have pure fun!"
"Thank you! The boys LOVE having you as a coach. They love learning from you nad love playing with the team. And as parents, we are grateful for not only what you are teaching them, but also how you do it."

 
Don Griffin Don Griffin - Girls Director

Credentials

  • NSCAA National Diploma
  • NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
  • Former Boys Varsity Co-Head Coach, Natick High School
  • GU14 and GU16 Div 1 MTOC Head Coach, Natick
  • Masters Degree in Education
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • GU11 Premier Head Coach
    GU12 Premier Head Coach
  • GU13/14 Elite Head Coach

"Thank you so much for a great Spring season! [Our daughter] gained so much confidence and leanred to love playing in goal. Your support and encouragement meant a great deal to her. I was also so impressed how you helped the girls really become a team! They enjoyed the experience so much, nearly all of them are back again this fall (which is awesome)!"

"Thank you so much, Coach Griffin! I appreciate all that you did for both the team and for helping me improve as a player."

"Thanks for a great season! You're always very helpful and specific with your coaching tips and incredibly understanding. It was a pleasure to play for you!"

"Thanks Coach! Our daughter said she learned a lot this season with you as her coach and she loves being a part of this team. Thanks for the encouragement and support."

 
JamesAbasciano James Abasciano

Credentials

  • Former Head Coach, Girls JV, St. Peter-Marian HS
  • FC Napoli Asst. Coach, 5 years
  • USSF 'E' License
  • NSCAA Level 6 Diploma
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Asst. Coach, JSSA Napoli
 
 
Taylor Bracken Taylor Bracken

Credentials

  • NSCAA National Diploma
  • NSCA Level 2 GK Diploma
  • USSF 'F' License
  • USSF 'E' License
  • Curry College, Men's Asst. Coach
  • Brandeis University, Former Women's Asst/GK Coach
  • Real Boston Soccer Academy, Former GK Director
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • BU14/15 Premier Head Coach
    G18/19 Premier Head Coach
 
 
Coach Bill Cardwell Bill Cardwell

Credentials

  • Irish FA Level 1
  • Irish FA Level 2
  • USSF 'F' License
  • UEFA 'B' License
  • UEFA 'A' License
  • UEFA GK License
  • JSSA Goalkeeping Coach
  • John Smith Soccer Coach 2008-current
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • BU11 Premier Head Coach
  • BU13 Premier Head Coach
    BU19 Premier Head Coach

"Coach Bill, we want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication this season. This was our first experience with a club sports team and we were incredibly impressed. You clearly knew each player and used their strengths to develop their skills. Your level headedness during stressful games was a wonderful model for the children and parents. We truly appreciate that you taught the kids to play as a team, working' all for one and one for all'."

"Thank you, Bill, for a great season. [Our son] thoroughly enjoyed every single practice and game and so appreciated your passion and knowledge of this game."

"Bill, [our son] thoroughly enjoyed the season and being part of the team. Thank you for the consistent and excellent communication and your commitment to push the players to a higher level of play. Overall, a great experience for us!"
"Thanks so much, Coach Bill. [Our son] loves having you as a coach and it has been great to see his confidence and skills grow under your coaching."

 
Cal Dolan Cal Dolan

Credentials

  • Club Coach, Clover United, Ireland
  • Club Coach, Crumlin United, Ireland
  • NSCAA Level 6 Diploma
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Coach
 
 
Rob Rob Holliday

Credentials

  • Director of Marketing and Communications, Mass Youth Soccer
  • Head Coach, 2003 Boys, MA ODP Team
  • USSF 'B' License
  • USSF National Youth License
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • BU9 Premier MH HeadCoach
  • GU15/16 Premier Head Coach
 
 
Aidan macDonald-2 Aidan MacDonald

Credentials

  • Men's Soccer Asst. Coach, Dean College, 2012-15
  • Men's Soccer Asst. Coach, Univ. of Albany
  • Oneonta Soccer Club, U19 Boys Head Coach
  • NSCAA National Diploma
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Boys U12 Premier Head Coach
 
 
Gary Nolan Gary Nolan

Credentials

  • Irish FA Level 1
  • Irish FA Level 2
  • USSF 'F' License
  • USSF 'E' License
  • Former Coach, NOGA Soccer, CT
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Coach

"Thank you for being a fantastic coach. [Our son] grew as a player under your teaching."

"Thank you, Coach Gary, for working with [our daughter] this season and helping especially on the tactical aspects of the game with her. She improved immensely this season and you were a large part of that. Thank you"

"Gary, thank you very much for the feedback. [My son] loves playing with this team, and he takes a lot of pride in his ability. I believe that when a child continues to learn and expresses an interest in continuing on with a sport, that's a sign of good coaching. We appreciate your guidance and support."

"Gary, thank you for a wonderful season. You are a fantastic coach and [my daughter] really enjoyed playing for you."

 
Damir Pesa Damir Pesa

Credentials

  • Former Women's Soccer Head Coach, Nichols College (5 yrs)
  • Former Women's Asst. Coach, Nichols College (4 yrs)
  • Former Asst. Coach, Holyoke Community College (2 yrs)
  • Bay State Games Coach, Boys Gold medal, Girls Bronze medal
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • GU17 Napoli Head Coach
 
 
JoeSimone Joe Simone

Credentials

  • USSF 'D' License
  • Premier Coach for 17 years, FC Napoli and SAC
  • Boys Varsity Head Coach, St. Peter Marian HS, MA
    Former Girls Varsity Head Coach, St Peter Marian HS
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • JSSA Napoli Head Coach
 
 
Rob Speed Coach Rob Speed

Credentials

  • FA Level 1, UK
  • FA Level 2, UK
  • FA Level 1, Goalkeeping
  • 2014 Challenger Sports Coach of the Year Nominee
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Boys 11 Select Head Coach
  • Boys 16 Premier Head Coach
 
 
Brian West-resized Brian West

Credentials

  • NSCAA Level 6 Diploma
  • John Smith Soccer Camp Coach
  • Head Coach, BU11 Westwood YS, Fall 2015
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Coach

"Thank you for your feedback, Brian. You are an excellent coach!"
"Thanks Brian for coaching [my daughter[. She loved how positive you were to her and others on the team. Thank you."
"Thank you coach for a wonderful season. [Our daughter] really blossomed under your guidance."

 
Kyle Yelin-resized Kyle Yelin

Credentials

  • NSCAA Level 6 Diploma
  • NE Revolution Academy Coach
  • Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate

Programs Currently Coaching

  • Winter Training Coach
 
 

Spotlight

John Smith

john smith18sm

 

John M. Smith, the New England Patriots "Rookie of the Year" in 1974, never touched an American football until he was 21 years old! So, how could he obtain this achievement, lead the NFL in scoring in 1979 and 1980 and become an NFL All-Pro Player in 1980!