PLANTATION FC: A hotbed of talented players

Johnny and Bill Ramos are part of the heart of Plantation FC, a club that stands out for its careful work with girls. Soccerplus was with the two Ramos brothers, who have spent more than 10 years with the Club, and gathered their ideas and impressions, in the middle of a hotbed of talented girls in the tryouts.

Text: Emmanuel Calderón

Interview with Bill Ramos, Technical Director for Girls at Plantation FC

As the girls’ director what is it that you oversee?
I oversee all the teams and the coaches and I make sure that what they are doing is in line with what our philosophy is, and what our curriculum is asking of them to do. I also work as a resource and support for when working with parents.

What teams do you personally coach?
I’m in charge of a very pivotal age group and our club consists of a two-year system where we have a coach in charge of certain age groups. This past year I was in charge of the U-15 Girls, this next season I will be seeing the U-16 girls.

What would you say is the toughest aspect about dealing with parents?
The toughest part would be trying to help parents to understand that there is a process that has to take place, which cannot happen overnight. This big picture consists of thousands of hours of practice and development in order to get better.

How did your team perform this past season?
We were happy to see an improvement this season as our team made it to the round of 16 of the State Cup. The year prior we didn’t even make it past the first group and this season we were knocked out by the best team in the Country. So it was good to see us take a step forward.

What are your goals for next season?
To keep moving forward in the direction that we are going and help improve the players in not only a soccer standpoint, but a life standpoint as well. I’m very big on character building and one thing we were able to really overcome this season that led to our success was the fact that in the past we were a very negative team when things would get tough. But this year I saw how we began to take a very different approach to things as we understood that negativity would take us nowhere, and we showed a lot character and stuck together throughout the season.

Johnny Ramos, Director of Plantation FC, and his look at female soccer
“This club is like home for me, I bleed blue and yellow”

What differences and factors do you have to take into consideration when working with girls than when with boys?
One big factor that you have to consider is the goals of a female player versus that of a male player. In these days for the boys there are many opportunities be it in college, professionally, or going to South America and Europe. For the girls, the goals may not be as international and may be more domestic with college. Now the women’s game does have a professional route but it’s still growing, so I think it’s important for the coach to understand what they want to achieve.

What is your approach to helping give your players that mental strength that is needed to succeed?
I think that it starts at the root of a very young age. The key to it is passion and once you fall in love you will be able to continue doing everything you enjoy, and once you have that foundation then sky is the limit really. So as a coach we have to create the environment for the players to become passionate. You have to continue to encourage them, keep them confident, and help them to reach their potential.

What do you offer to the families of the players?
I take a lot of pride in having a strong coaching staff which is very well educated. We have several coaches who have gone through the education process, some ex-collegiate players, some ex professionals, so we invest a lot in them so they can provide the right environment. As well as many resources which can help enhance the development of the players. For example, we have a relationship with an organization out of Belgium called Cogi Training which is brain centered learning incorporated to soccer, as well as a very capable staff which helps with the physical side of the sport and injury prevention.