Every Week Head Coach Adrian Whitbread will take us inside the Puerto Rico Islanders' Locker room. Check out the rollercoaster that was Coach Whitbread’s first week as the official Puerto Rico Islanders' Head Coach:
Well, last week was truly a whirlwind. After four years as an Assistant Coach and the departure of my good friend Colin Clarke, I was offered the Head Coaching position for YOUR Puerto Rico Islanders. (Which I graciously accepted.) I am so excited for the opportunity and am very thankful to the ownership. I want to tell all the fans that you can count on me and the rest of the staff to work tirelessly and have the players ready to represent the Island and the Puerto Rico Islanders in the highest possible regards. I’m so excited for the season; I haven’t been able to sleep in four days. Literally.
After the exciting news I flew to England to see my mum, dad, brother, sister-in-law and 2 nieces. They didn’t know I was coming so it was a big surprise. Like I’ve said many times before, family is the most important thing. Well, after a quick stop to see them, I went to go visit my very 1st professional football club, Leyton Orient. They were playing at home game versus Gillingham. After the match I caught up with my first managerial boss, Martin Allen. We meet up in the hotel and I was able to ask him for some advice as I embark on an amazing journey with the Puerto Rico Islanders. I was soon after to bed after travel from Puerto Rico to England, I guess the adrenaline from the big news had me going.
The next day I went to watch Notts County v Sutton United in the World's most famous cup, THE FA Cup. County won 2-0 in a very entertaining match. The next two days I spent some time with my family. On Sunday night, I was able to catch up with Ma and Pa and on Monday I got to pick up the kids; IT WAS A BIG SURPRISE.
I woke up early to go to MK Dons to meet my old mate Damo, who is now the Sports Scientist at the club. He was also my very first youth club sports scientist, it seems like he aged 15 years. It was so great to catch up with him. I took in the reserve game against the NIKE Academy. Always good to talk to other soccer people and see what tactics they are using with their club.
The next day I drove four hours to Oldham to watch a player I had my eye on. I had to stop over for the night… AY DIOS MIO, MUCHO FRIO!! Went all the way to the park and the player wasn’t playing. Still made some good contacts and embarked on the long journey back.
That Friday I met up with current Goalkeeping Coach Jack Stefanowski at Heathrow airport, who was on his way back from a coaching course and had a 3 hour layover. We took advantage of the time and started planning the all the work we have for next season. We have a lot of work for this up-coming season, but we are up for the challenge.
On Saturday my friends took me to see my favorite team play at home. Nothing is like watching Arsenal play at home. Afterwards I spent some time with my family decorating the Christmas tree. I don’t know who was more excited me or the kids.
Well there it is for my first week. More work to do this week, look out for the next Whitt's Weekly update