THE Fairhope Soccer Club ANNOUNCES New Club Director,
decorated Soccer professional, Declan McSheffrey
January 1, 2021
Fairhope, Alabama – The Fairhope Soccer Club (FSC) enthusiastically announces that starting January 1, 2021, Declan McSheffrey, Syosset, New York, will assume the role of Club Director, taking charge of the 46-year-old soccer club.
"We are energized that Coach McSheffrey accepted our offer. This is an exciting day for FSC and the entire Gulf Coast Soccer community”, said FSC Board President Haden Giddings.
FSC has a notable presence on the Eastern Shore and is known for developing the love of soccer in the community's youth. Offering both recreational and competitive club soccer, FSC's philosophy is rooted in the principal values of teaching fundamental soccer, sportsmanship, safety, honesty, integrity and dependability.
Giddings says, “having someone of Coach McSheffrey's caliber, talent and experience lead our soccer family gives the Board a great deal of pride and encouragement, knowing that our kids, the programs, and the legacy of the Club is in the best hands possible. We, the Board, are committed to the success of FSC and will proactively assist Coach McSheffrey in every way possible.”
The University of South Alabama retired soccer Coach Roy Patton commented that Coach McSheffrey, "is blessed with a natural teaching - coaching personality. His enthusiasm for young people and the opportunities provided by the game are immediately obvious. His sense of humor, welcoming personality, broad depth of experience and innate understanding of what is needed across the spectrum of youth age groups set Declan apart as a soccer educator. Needless to say, Declan's connections are far-reaching and appreciated in the world of U.S. Soccer. FSC has hired a truly outstanding and professionally licensed Director of Coaching who is excited to return and lead the FSC onwards and upwards!”
A lifelong soccer player, Coach McSheffrey hails from Coleraine County Derry in Northern Ireland. While Coach McSheffrey will be moving to the Eastern Shore from New York to accept the Director position, he is not new to the Gulf Coast. Coach played his first soccer game in the USA in 1981 on the Bayside Academy field as a striker for the University of South Alabama. Coach has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from South Alabama and holds a Masters degree in Modern European History from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.
Coach's professional soccer career led him from Mobile, AL to New York after being drafted by the New York Express to play indoor professional soccer in 1986. He also played professionally outdoor soccer for the Long Island Roughriders for the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
From 1990 to 1999, Coach taught European History at a private catholic high school. In 2000 he became a full-time professional soccer coach, coaching at Syosset Soccer Club, where he served as Director of Coaching from 2008-2015 and Farmingdale Soccer Club from 2017- present. He also coached elite level players for the Long Island Junior Soccer program (LIJSL) and was a New York State coach for the Eastern New York (ENYSSA) State Soccer Association.
Coach McSheffrey is a member of the University of South Alabama Hall of Fame and was awarded the New York Catholic Coach of the Year twice.
A NSCAA licensed coach with additional training as a Director of Coaching, Coach McSheffrey is also energized by the opportunity and the growth possibilities for FSC. "This is a unique and enticing opportunity for me in a Club that I believe is primed for growth. Returning to the Gulf Coast is not only a welcoming move for me personally, but it provides me with a challenge in a caring community that I am sure I am going to relish. There is also is a beautiful synchronicity to the move that fulfills the wonderful circle of life, for my first game on American soil was at Bayside Academy”.
A community-wide get to know Coach McSheffrey will be held, Friday January 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Soccer Complex located at 18383 County Road 13. All are welcome. FSC is following all CDC and State COVID-19 guidelines and will require masks and proper social distancing at the meet and greet.