John Curtis has stepped down as Hartford Athletic Assistant Manager.
He has found it increasingly difficult to juggle the role with his responsibilities of running NCE Soccer – and working with the New York Club Soccer League.
Curtis joined the USL Championship side as Assistant to Head Coach Radhi Jaïdi in January and has played a key role in the club’s pre-season preparations with Jaïdi stranded in the UK waiting for VISA clearance.
But, the combination of a long commute, full day at Hartford Athletic followed by coaching sessions with NCE Soccer have proved too much.
Curtis will step down from Hartford with immediate effect, and from his role as a consultant to the New York Club Soccer League, to focus purely on expanding the National Centre of Excellence.
“I am sad to have to make such a tough decision, but I know it is the right decision for me, my family, NCE Soccer and Hartford Athletic,” John explained.
“I’ve loved my time and Hartford and I’d like to thank everyone associated with the club for welcoming me and giving me the opportunity.
“It was great to be back working with senior players, and I am sure Radhi, will make them a success.
“It has been a pleasure working with him, we have the same approach, attitude and standards.
“Dividing my attention between Hartford & NCE Soccer wasn’t the best approach for either organization and I realized neither was getting my full focus and that wasn’t right.
“We have worked so hard to develop NCE Soccer into the USA’s leading provider of supplementary coaching for elite players and we have lots of plans for the future.
“It was tough leaving home at 7am, coaching all day at Hartford and then driving to NCE sessions to work with our young players.
“100 hour work weeks are what we did to launch NCE, but anyone who’s worked like that understands that it’s not sustainable and in the long run drains you of creative thinking.
“Something had to give and the Coronavirus lockdown made me realize I couldn’t continue like that.
“I wish the club, the players, management, owners and of course the fans, all the success when the season eventually gets going. I will be staying in touch and look forward to their success.”
NCE Soccer currently run elite supplementary soccer coaching programs for boys and girls aged 7 right through to college.
The programs are divided into three age groups with Zone 1 (7-10-years-of-age), Centre of Excellence (11-15) and College ID (15+). There are specialists goalkeeping programs for each age group.
NCE Soccer’s Pro-Pathway takes the very best of those players and prepares them for life in the professional game and includes trials at clubs around the world.
John added: “NCE Soccer is providing talented young soccer players with the very best coaching and preparations for the professional game.
“We have had some great successes and have plans to expand NCE Soccer into new territories this year.
“It was only the Coronavirus outbreak which has slowed the progress down and we hope to be back up and running soon.
“I am passionate about providing these young players with their very best hope of success and that means giving it my full attention.”
NCE Soccer were forced to suspend all coaching on March 13th in line with the US lock-down. It is hoped the programs will resume in June.
In the meantime, Curtis and the NCE Soccer team are making plans ahead of the expected lockdown lift-off, to ensure NCE Soccer students can train safely.
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