NRFA Coach Interview (September 2023)

AJAX Boys/Red Boys


Coach Spotlight: An In-Depth Conversation with Soccer Mentor and Coach, Marcus McPhun

In the world of sports, coaches play a pivotal role in shaping athletes' careers and helping them reach their full potential. Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with a remarkable coach who has not only excelled in guiding young talents but has also experienced the game from both sides – as a player and a mentor. Let's dive into the journey and insights of this accomplished coach, as we explore the story behind the title.‌

NRFA: Can you share your coaching journey with us?

Coach Marcus: Certainly. My coaching journey has been a dynamic and rewarding one. I started as the Co-Director of Group Training at MasterClass Football Academy and Victory Football Discipline from 2013 to 2021. During this time, I had the opportunity to work closely with groups and individuals, honing my coaching skills. Later, I transitioned to Athletic Club Raleigh as an Event Coordinator from 2021 to 2022, where I got a taste of organizing events and managing logistics. This experience set the stage for my role as a Classic Program Coach at Neuse River Futbol Alliance from 2022 to 2023.‌

NRFA: Your playing experience is quite impressive. How has it influenced your coaching style?

Coach Marcus: My playing experience has been invaluable in shaping my coaching approach. From my time at Next Level Academy and CASL Academy to my time with various other teams, I've had the privilege of learning from some of the finest coaches. These experiences have not only imparted technical skills but have also given me insights into different coaching methods. I try to blend the teachings of my coaches with my personal principles to guide the players I work with.‌

NRFA: Could you tell us about your coaching philosophy and goals for your teams?

Coach Marcus: Absolutely. My coaching philosophy revolves around holistic player development. While victories are important, I believe in cultivating long-term success through principles and patterns that sustain growth. At NRFA, my primary goal for both my teams – NRFA 2012 Red Boys and NRFA 2011 Ajax Boys – remains the same: development. I focus on equipping my players with the skills, strategies, and mindset needed to thrive not just on the field but in life.‌

NRFA: What's the standout feature of working at NRFA for you?

Coach Marcus: The sense of community at Neuse River Futbol Alliance is truly remarkable. Over the years, I've built relationships with fellow coaches, players, and parents from different teams. It feels like a united effort towards a common goal – providing the best football education for our players. This sense of togetherness and shared vision creates an inspiring and motivating environment.‌

NRFA: Is there a football-related quote that resonates with you?

Coach Marcus: Absolutely. One of my favorite quotes is by Rinus Michels: "It is an art in itself to compose a starting team, finding the balance between creative players and those with destructive powers, and between defense, construction and attack – never forgetting the quality of the opposition and the specific pressures of each match." This quote beautifully encapsulates the multifaceted role of a coach – balancing strategy, tactics, and the unique dynamics of each game.‌

Q: Let's switch gears a bit. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

Coach Marcus: Of course! Beyond soccer, I have a passion for other sports as well. I enjoy watching and engaging in basketball, boxing, and MMA. It's fascinating to witness different disciplines and draw inspiration from various athletic pursuits.

In the realm of coaching, it's evident that Marcus’ journey has been shaped by a combination of playing experience, learning from mentors, and an unwavering commitment to player development. Through his roles in various futbol organizations and dedication to fostering a sense of community, Coach Marcus exemplifies the spirit of mentorship and teamwork that lies at the heart of the beautiful game.