Former Manchester United star John Curtis has joined Hartford Athletic as Assistant Coach.
The young English coach will assist Head Coach Radhi Jaïdi for the 2020 season as they bid for USL Championship glory.
Curtis, will continue to run his hugely successful junior elite supplementary coaching program NCE Soccer, while working with Hartford.
His team of coaches will continue to provide coaching at centres along the East coast of America with further venues to be announced in 2020.
But the role at Hartford Athletic provides Curtis with his first full time coaching in the senior professional game as he works alongs Jaïdi, who is on a 12 month secondment from Southampton Football Club.
Curtis, said: “It’s a great opportunity for me and it’s an honour to be asked to join the Hartford team and further my development as a coach. My background is professional soccer, so I’m delighted to be back working in this environment again.
“The USL Championship is an exciting platform and I hope my knowledge of the US game and player development in particular, can help the club progress.
“Player development is a huge passion of mine and working at the pro level will sharpen my focus and help me to refine the processes in place at NCE, hopefully allowing us to create an even better environment.”
Curtis, the most capped England schoolboy of all-time and a product of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous line of talented youngsters, has been coaching in Connecticut for the past seven years.
He runs the hugely successful NCE Soccer program, or National Centre of Excellence, providing high level supplementary coaching for elite young players.
NCE Soccer provides coaching for boys and girls aged from seven right the way through to 17+ and has rapidly established itself as the premier provider of soccer coaching on the East Coast of America.
Curtis’ NCE Soccer team provide coaching from venues along the Eastern Seaboard from the Boston area down through New England, New York State and Washington. They plan to extend their reach in 2020 down through Philadelphia and into Florida.
Curtis will continue to overseas the NCE Soccer project whilst working with Jaidi at Hartford Athletic and he believes the two roles will compliment one another.
He added: “It is great to start working with the players and we are all excited about the new season and the opportunities we have ahead of us.
“We have six weeks of really hard work to ensure we are ready for the new season. The club are ambitious and we have to make sure we are ready for the start of the season.
“The focus of the staff will be to raise standards and bring the levels of professionalism Radhi talks about. Its second nature with our background, but imparting this on the players will be a challenge…but one I’m really relishing.
“Our NCE Soccer program is flourishing and we are about to begin our Spring training programs. My team are ready to get going and we are looking forward to expanding into new areas and we have some exciting announcements soon regarding the future development of NCE Soccer.
“It will be an exciting time for us all and I looking forward to working with the teams at Hartford and continuing our excellent progress at NCE Soccer.”
The pinnacle of the NCE Soccer progression is their ProPathway program which takes the very best of the best and utilises the incredible contacts established by founder Curtis to provide trials at professional clubs around the world.
NCE Soccer are currently three quarters of the way through their Winter coaching program. They will begin try-outs for their Centre of Excellence Spring training programs in the New York Metro, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions in April with further try-out dates to be announced soon.
They are also looking to add four new venues in two new terrorities in the coming weeks as NCE Soccer expands to cover the whole of the US East Coast.
“I think that’s the most important thing for me at the moment. And then moving forward, that’s how I can have an impact on what we do here.
“The fans are really important. We want them to be around us, we want them to support us, we want them to be behind us every single minute.”
Jaïdi’s arrival at Hartford is part of a developing partnership between Hartford Athletic and the Southampton Academy, which may in the future involve player loans.
Radhi Jaïdi played 105 times for Tunisia and played centenaries back for Espérance Sportive de Tunis, Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, and Southampton Football Club.
* For more information about NCE Soccer, John Curtis or to discuss media or marketing opportunities please contact Onside PR via NCESoccer@onsidepr.com