Interview with the Director of Coaching and Player Development in Pinecrest Premier.
The Italian coach, a lover of soccer, started his career from a very early age and his great experience is strengthening the Pinecrest Premier team. His aim is to develop all the divisions instead of focusing on a determined age.
When did you realize that you loved soccer?
I’ve always loved the game. As I grew up in Italy I would play on the streets and when I came to America I began to play in a more organized setting but I’ve always loved the game.
Did you always imagine that you’d become a coach?
Initially, I never thought of being a coach and I always wanted to just be a player. To an extent, I accomplished that by playing professionally in the USL, but then coaching came along which wasn’t expected and I realized that maybe I could make a career out of it and make it something I could do for the rest of my life.
How did you first get involved with Pinecrest Premier?
They reached out to me as I had already been providing some consulting to the club this year. The club was going through some coaching changes and they asked me if I was interested, and now here I am.
How does it feel to be the Director of coaching?
This is a very different challenge since I am tackling more of the youth side of the game, but I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic experience. I oversee all 41 teams that we have, as well as all of the coaches and kids. Now I’ve been with the club officially for a few months and I’m really enjoying it.
What was the transition like from being a player to being a coach?
It was a long, long evolution. I started coaching when I was still in college where I was in charge of a U8 and U9 team. I didn’t really know what I was doing! But I was still learning and then eventually I realized that I had still much more to learn. But coaching is completely different from playing where you aren’t just looking at what’s in front of you but you have to take into consideration different players, their emotions, feelings, if they are enjoying themselves, how the practice is going, etc.
How would you describe your style of coaching?
To me, transition is the key to the modern game. I’ve always been a defensive type of coach where my emphasis has been defense. Over time, it has changed and I enjoy watching the game differently. For example, I am the head coach of Miami Fusion in the NPSL and this past year we played a very high pressing game which was still defensive but high up in the field with intensity and lots of transitions.
What does the club offer for the players?
We offer a chance to play in some of the top leagues in Florida and at a very high level irrespective of age or ability. In addition, we have an affiliation with Kendall which has an academy and any boy of ours who may “outgrow” our program can be pushed there and given the ability to develop even further.
How was the past season like for the club?
We had a few teams who did quite well in the State Cup and National Premier league. Our U18 girls were out in Colorado and qualified for nationals a few weeks back.
What is your goal for the club as Director of coaching?
One of the things I want to do is to make our club one of the better ones in terms of development for the younger teams. I really want to focus on our U8 through U12 teams so that in turn, our older teams will be better. Instead of trying to stack a particular team and pulling players from certain divisions to have one strong team, I want to make sure that the kids are getting the right instruction appropriate to their age in order to properly develop our young players.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love traveling, especially with my kids. I have a 16-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son who both play over in Weston. I also like watching games on the weekends with my kids or going out to support our local teams like Miami FC or the Strikers.
What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
I loved Puerto Rico for vacation. The beaches are great and it was a very nice combination of American comfort with Latino culture as well. For soccer purposes I’ve travelled to places like England, Italy, France, etc. but my absolute favorite was Argentina. I was fortunate enough to see River Plate vs. Boca in La Bombonera for Martin Palermo’s last game and that was a fantastic experience unlike any stadium I’ve ever been to before.
Who is he
Nombre: Giuseppe DePalo
Origin: Milan, Italy
College soccer at Franklin Pierce University
Professionally in the USL
Miami Fusion Head Coach
I’m a crazy “Star Wars” fan.