After growing up with the beautiful game in England, Ryan Penton is now plying his coaching trade in San Diego. Since 2013, the coach has utilized
After growing up with the beautiful game in England, Ryan Penton is now plying his coaching trade in San Diego.
Since 2013, the coach has utilized his knowledge and experience from abroad with the local DMCV Sharks program. Looking ahead to his fourth year with the organization, Penton answered several questions for Soccer Nation regarding his history with the sport, his goals for the Sharks, and some noteworthy highlights from the past year.
SN: Tell us about your own soccer story. I see that you have some experience playing in England during your younger years.
RP: I started at U10 playing local Sunday league football for Stafford Falcons FC. Many crazy stories of weather and bad fields have been told to my players from memories of these six years.
I moved to a regional league and joined Stone Dominoes FC at 16 and played U18 for two years. Within those two years I was scouted for and represented my County of Staffordshire in the Youth FA County’s Championship, which is a national competition where I played 10 times for my county, receiving the county’s badge of recognition to wear on my lapel.
I then went to Loughborough University, playing there for two years and gaining my Bachelors in Chemistry and Sports Science.
SN: When did you make the transition from player to coach?
RP: Once I graduated from university, I started coaching for a local club called Stafford Soccer School in 2007. I was an assistant coach initially, before taking the whole practice for a U12 and U16 team. I then moved to a company in New Jersey called United Soccer Academy in February of 2008 and so began my coaching and playing in the U.S.
SN: When did you first start working with the DMCV Sharks and what is your current role with the organization?
RP: I started with the DMCV Sharks in 2013, moving into my 4th year with the club. I am currently the Assistant Director for the Boys Younger Program.
SN: Any noteworthy 2016 highlights from the teams you work with?
RP: A couple of moments of brilliance. I had a 2004 player score a free kick from just inside the other team’s half, that was pretty epic. My 2006 team were tied for 1st playing the other top team, at 1-0 up my goalie pulled off a save that was worthy of TV highlights!
SN: Looking ahead to 2017, what are your goals for the club?
RP: My goal for the club in 2017 is to make a positive impact and movement towards players playing freely, truly loving what they are doing, with no fear of failure.
I also want to get more players playing futsal to not only aid their development of traditional football, but to also experience and learn the fastest growing sport in the world right now. The club’s futsal program is moving into its second year and players are catching the bug.
SN: Any upcoming tryouts for prospective players who are interested in joining your organization?
RP: We have our younger tryouts 2008-2006 from Feb 23-Mar 1, with the older set (2005-2003) the following week on March 6-9. I’m excited to see what the tryouts bring but let’s get through State Cup first.
SN: Thoughts on the current state of youth soccer in San Diego?
RP: I think football in San Diego is growing exponentially, that’s the beauty of being able to play all-year round. So many programs and developmental things are popping up, it’s exciting times.
I want to see more young people playing down the parks with their mates though, using jumpers for goal posts as we say in England, celebrating goals as if they just won the World Cup for their country. Sometimes I feel things are a little too structured and organized, not enough free play.