Every Week Head Coach Adrian Whitbread will take us inside the Puerto Rico Islanders' Locker room. Check out this weeks edition:
After a long and productive trip, I’m finally back in Puerto Rico. It has been a very hectic week getting back into the swing of things; lots of traveling and made some good contacts as I try and put a team Puerto Rico can be proud of. Before I landed in Puerto Rico, I spent four days in Florida (with a stinking cold) working the InfoSport Combine. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Combine, it is an opportunity to watch A LOT of players being coached by MLS/NASL Coaches. I got to see players out of college, trailists released by other Clubs and just regular players looking for a chance to join a pro team.
After that, it was back to Puerto Rico before the long journey to Kansas City for the NSCAA (Coaches Convention) where the North American Soccer League held its AGM. With representatives from every team, the League did a tremendous job of keeping us on schedule. The Coaches met to go over some things for the up-coming season and our Director of Operations, Vanessa Figueroa, to go over game day matters and to present a brief description of the originations goals achieved last season and what we will be trying to achieve this year. Needless to say she was nervous in making the presentation, so I went along for moral support. I needn’t have bother because she was absolutely fantastic and everyone commented on how good she was. “Vane” has been an absolute rock by my side in the transition since I have taken over and I couldn’t be doing the job without her by my side. After working throughout the rest of the day and spending a couple of hours at the NASL booth, the League set up a ten pin bowling tournament. What can I say ... the Coaches took on one another and let's just say we won our first championship of the season. Hopefully this can be the first to many championships this season!!!!
This week has been spent talking to players and agents putting the team together for this season. Trust me, I'm working hard to bring the best players to make YOUR team and ISLAND proud. Apart from the team I put in the field, there is a team that is working very hard off the field. Sometimes those people don’t get the recognition they deserve. I have met with them all individually and spoken to them as to what their role is and how important they are within the football club. l later told them all in a staff meeting that without them the Club doesn’t function. I have told ownership, players, front office staff, the staff from the municipality of Bayamón to the Mayor of BAYAMON, WE ARE ALL ONE.