Welcome to a continuation on new series on The 94th Minute, called “Starting XI”. This is where I ask various people, who are involved in football in some manner, eleven questions to get to know them better! The first ten questions will differ for each person, but the eleventh and final question will always be:
“Who would be in your all-time starting XI?”
This is a question where anyone can be put into their starting eleven, whether they are famous footballers, football legends, past or unknown players who had an impact on their childhood, or even players they have played with or coached. Anyone is acceptable in their XI!
In the first episode of the series, I interviewed Shropshire-based groundhopper, Gareth Thomas, founder and editor of the fantastic groundhopping blog, ‘Gareth’s Football Travels‘. The blog with Gareth can be found HERE.
The second episode of the series is with the newly-appointed Caerwys FC joint-manager, Jordan Hadaway. Having initially been heavily involved, and gaining coaching experience with Holywell Town’s youth teams and academy, as well as the FAW Girls teams, the move to Lôn yr Ysgol is Jordan’s first managerial appointment in senior football! I interviewed the UEFA B License holder to get his thoughts and opinions, as well as his all-time starting XI!
1. Congratulations on being appointed as the new joint-manager of Caerwys FC! What attracted you to the North East Wales League club in the first place?
Having sat down with Chris Doyle, Dylan Thomas and Rich Newsome on what their ambitions and visions are for the club, I knew that this was the best place for me. The club wants to move forward and progress up the leagues, and they have the facilities and the committee behind them to do so. I think Caerwys has the potential to progress and sustain playing at a higher level and that was a big pulling factor for me.
2. How did you meet your co-manager, Ethan Jones?
I have known and heard of Ethan for a long time now, then when I started my UEFA B-Licence course, we were all partnered up, and Ethan was with me. We had to work closely together in preparing for assessments and tasks. As well as this, we’re Evertonians, so of course we got on!
3. What traits or thoughts do you think make you two a great managerial partnership?
I think the biggest thing for us both is that we like to play the same game and like our teams to play nice possession football. We both have very similar mindsets off the field in terms of what we want to achieve and also it’s good to work with someone you can trust!
4. What is your coaching philosophy, or how do you like your teams to play?
With working in the youth at Holywell (Town) and FAW girls set-up I try to get them to play football and take risks in possession. So in terms of how I want my teams to play, I like to think my teams play attractive football and are hard to breakdown. The main thing for me is that they work harder than the other team as I believe this goes along way, and talent and skill will follow. One thing I can promise anyone that watches Caerwys is that we will be very organised and a difficult team to play against. Without giving too much away, I’m confident we’ll be more than a match for anyone and have recruited the players to suit how we want to play.
5. How did you get involved in football coaching?
I got involved in coaching through Holywell FITC (Football In The Community) and the local council. I started off assisting in soccer camps at ‘Holywell Within the Community’ programme, then my coaching career just spiraled from here, to leading the camps, then running my own team, to being with the first team and now Director of Youth and Caerwys’ 1st team manager!
6. What has been your favourite moment or achievement in your coaching career so far?
My biggest achievement so far would be winning FAW North East Wales Coach Of The Year. This was big for me as I was 17 at the time and I think the youngest to ever win this. Another big achievement for me was to get accepted onto my B licence at the age of 17, this was big because this could allow me to progress higher up the football pyramid.
My favourite moment in football so far has been with my under 7 age group at Holywell. This is because I took them over in December 2017 after them struggling for a manager. This was my first ever team! A proud moment was when we went to a tournament in the summer of 2018, after most teams had been running for 1-2 years, and us only being run for 8 months, and we finished 2nd and lost in the final of a tournament. This was a proud moment as we were competing after just 8 months.
7. Is there any coach or manager who has been an inspiration or a great help in your coaching career?
There is only few that I would place in this category. The biggest role model and someone who has give me A LOT of help and pathways to enter is Steve Noel Thomas. He works for ‘Aura’ and was chairman of Holywell FITC. Steve is now still giving me opportunities such as working for ‘Aura’ and in the FAW Girls set up. He got me into coaching and me and him work closely together still now. As well as working together, we are good friends. Steve has been the biggest influence in my coaching career for me and I cannot thank him enough!
As well as Steve, Daniel Williams from Holywell who also works for Aura has helped me with opportunities and coaching techniques. There are 2 other people that inspired me in terms of my football management and coaching. They are Johnny Haseldin (Manager at Holywell Town FC) and Andy Lewis (1st Team Coach at Holywell Town FC). They have inspired me in the way they work together, Johnny is very good at the management side of things and Andy is very good at the coaching and tactical part of the game. They are a very good team and there are very few in Welsh football that are better than them! This season hasn’t been the best but it shows the last 2 months of the season what they can do, also what they have achieved at Holywell the last 5 years. They are a credit to the club, both of them!
8. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
9. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get involved or started in football coaching?
The best piece of advice I have received is from Steve Noel Thomas. He said to me, “keep your head down, plan your sessions thoroughly in terms of detail, progressions, regressions and session outcomes”. This was the best advice I have ever received as keeping my head down and putting the effort in has got me to where I am.
10. What do you hope to achieve with Caerwys FC in the future?
My main aim is to take Caerwys to the highest level they can! We’re not here to make up the numbers in the (North East Wales) league next season, we’re here to make an impact. Our aim is to challenge next season and see how we get on. The priority is promotion and doing well in the various league cups. We’ll also be entering the Welsh Cup, FAW Trophy and NEWFA Challenge Cup this season, so they’ll be good competitions to participate in and see how we do. A lot of hard work has already gone in and we’re confident we can hit the ground running when pre-season starts.
11. Finally, who would be in your all-time starting XI and why?
GK: Edwin Van Der Sar (Ex Manchester United and Netherlands) I chose Van Der Sar because he was a big role model in football for me. He was a outstanding old fashioned GK, great shot stopper and he organised his back 4!
RB: Seamus Coleman (Everton and Republic of Ireland) Coleman has been a great player and servant for Everton over the years, one of the best full backs going forward until his injury and is steady at defending. The best of it is that he only cost Everton £60,000.
CB: Nemanja Vidić (Ex Manchester Utd and Serbia) Vidic was a great centre-half that loved defending, he put his head where others wouldn’t. One of the only defenders that scared centre forwards to death!
CB: Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands) At the moment, Virgil is a quality centre-half, he is the calmest footballer I have seen. Best defender in the world at the minute, and it hurts to say that being an Evertonian.
LB: Roberto Carlos (Ex Real Madrid and Brazil) Roberto Carlos was unbelievable in his time at Real. His defending was top draw but his set prices were better.
CDM: Gareth Barry (Man City, Everton and England) Barry is my biggest role model in football, great professional and a good footballer. Gareth Barry also has completed the most caps in the (English) Premier League – that says it all!
CDM: Paul Scholes (Ex Manchester Utd and England) He was the engine of the United midfield (when they were good) for ages. Could smash in a ‘worldie’ too!
RM: Jay-Jay Okocha (Ex Bolton Wanderers and Nigeria) Wow his skill!
CAM: David Silva (Man City and Spain) David Silva has been a great servant and player, he is technically one of the best around, if not the best! What he has done for (Manchester) City in the number 10 role has been unbelievable. The Premier League have been lucky to have him.
LM: Ronaldinho (Ex Barcelona and Brazil) No explanation needed!
ST: Sergio Aguero (Man City and Argentina) He is the best finisher in the world in football. Scored hundreds of goals, especially that one which never let Manchester United win the league – we all love him for that!
A big thank you to Jordan for being the second guest in this series! To follow Jordan on Twitter, his account is @JordanHadaway_1
If there you have any feedback, comments or suggestions who I should interview next in the series, let me know either below in the comments box or tweet me @The94thMin. It would be good to hear what you think about the new series so far!
Also I have created a podcast (yes a bloody podcast) that will hopefully accompany this series. It can be found at https://anchor.fm/the94thminute … or even on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/6MzNfuo6T06S1g2vgVmRHL