This week’s “Get to Know” article, we will be learning more about Seacoast United Maine North’s Club Director, Peter McDonnell. Pete runs the day to day operations of Seacoast United Maine North and coaches the 05/06 Boys and 03 Girls North teams.
What is your previous experience playing soccer? Coaching?
I started coaching Summer Camps at my Dad’s club and around my county at home, at the age of 16. Since then, I have coached at GPS in Massachusetts, at home in Ireland with the FAI Emerging Talent Centers, FC Copa Academy as a Boys Technical Director in New Jersey. I also currently coach as an Assistant to Scott Atherley and The University of Maine, Women’s Soccer team.
What made you come over to the United States?
I finished my college degree in 2008 and took a couple of years out to work and brush up on my coaching licenses. In 2010, an opportunity came around to join GPS (then MPS) to peruse a Sports Management and Coaching career and it was something that was very appealing to me, to I made the move in April 2010.
What attracted you to Seacoast United Maine North?
My Wife is from Orono, Maine – So in 2016 we decided to move back up here, from NJ. I was here a couple of months coaching, before chatting to Seth Brown and Billy Shannon about the club and its vision of providing the best in soccer development in the area. I have always aimed to seek out the best and work alongside those groups, wherever I have been – It aids in my personal development and allows me to work with the best players in the area, so it was a no brainer.
When you hear “Seacoast United Maine” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Honesty, hard work and professionalism – Each of our staff members that work here, care deeply about our players and their own development, in order to make those players better. The interactions I have with our staff on a daily basis, make me proud to operate in such circles. I know that the players and families we work with are always in the forefront of the club’s thoughts.
What do you like the most about Northern Maine and why?
The seasons here are very dramatic. Lots of snow, lots of nature, some decent heat in the Summer and then a very nice Fall season. There is always something to do outdoors and that’s appealing to me, because of where I grew up.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My Father – He is relentless when it comes to Football. He isn’t getting any younger but has been a volunteer in our town since 1975. He calls me every week or more, to talk football and still wants to learn and grow. He has been the inspiration behind my career and this soccer journey, and my Mother and Wife have been the rational – non-soccer - support when I have needed it! And needed it plenty!
Which current or former professional soccer player did you admire the most growing up and why?
Two – Frank Lampard and Stevie Gerrard. I used to try and play like them in my Junior games at home in Ireland. I still use them as examples in my coaching and video with our young teams. They had such great game insight and seemed to find space at the edge of the box, time in time out – Something our young players struggle most with, as they grow. Plus, they loved a hard tackle! Need to keep that in the game!
Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
I’m just getting into Archery. I need to practice a lot more though, or the neighbors will be ducking for cover! I like everything to do with the outdoors, so when I can get out – without a ball – I do. Right now, I am just finishing off my UEFA A license, so the assignments on this have almost become a hobby for me.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite food – Curry
Favorite genre of music – Varies daily, right now I’m listening to Underworld, “Everything/Everything Live” from 2000
Favorite place to visit – Barcelona
Favorite Premier League team – Leeds United – Championship, but we will be back!
World Cup Winner Prediction – Argentina
2018/2019 Premier League Winner – Brighton and Hove Albion
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