Growing up in Liverpool, it is hard not to be passionate, even a bit obsessed about soccer (or football or “footie” for short as we call it). I moved to the U.S. in 1983 to take my Master’s and become a graduate assistant coaching soccer at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. After graduation I was fortunate enough to become an assistant coach at Dartmouth College. Now, 34 years later, I look back on a long and varied soccer career in this country:
- 34 years of Soccer Camps
- 31 years as a Club Soccer Coach
- 27 years of College Coaching
- 22 years on the Olympic Development Program staff
- 6 years Founder & Director of Boston Soccer Academy
NOW IS THE TIME FOR A NEW CHAPTER!
Last November I was inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame. It really got me thinking about my future direction on the American soccer scene. I've won my share of championships, and coached players of all ages and both genders. My players have been every ability that you can imagine - from raw, inexperienced beginners to players who turned professional and represented their country Based on my diverse and eclectic experiences coaching, and living the game, I would like to devote all my time from now on to developing and teaching a soccer education program under my Boston Soccer Academy banner.
In order to concentrate on this new chapter, I am passing on my soccer club, BSA North Shore, to one of my staff coaches, Mike Gruber. Much as I have loved building the club, it is just too time-consuming and will hinder what I would like to pursue next. I will still continue to work on the field with my forthcoming summer soccer camps and from there conduct year round soccer clinics for both players and coaches alike. However, in time I would like to develop a pool of young coaches who share my passion and through whom I develop a true legacy for soccer in the United States. The game is growing all the time and so many young American players are coming through the ranks with soccer as a defining force in their life. I would like to believe that I have played my part in soccer’s growth in the USA and I want to ensure that the game, and its undeniable spirit, is maintained as the sport continues to climb to new heights.
To allow me to truly develop these goals I need to create time off the field as well in order to write and develop many of the ideas I have in mind. I will not stop coaching or working with kids but I will need to make time at my computer and my desk to get my thoughts down in black and white and get this ambitious project off the ground.
It will take time and patience but I’m strongly committed to this next chapter in my soccer career. I hope you will support my efforts as make this transition from a coach on the field 365 to a soccer educator. I am grateful for the longevity of my career, and remain committed to helping the future education and development of soccer in the United States of America.
Any and all donations to my cause are welcome. I love soccer! I love working with kids! I eat, sleep and drink the beautiful game!! Please support me as I move Boston Soccer Academy in this new direction. Please take time to checkout my web-site and Facebook page as I develop my programs in the months and years to come.
Yours in Soccer!
COACH RALPH FERRIGNO
- Justine Oppenheim
- Graeme and Shenley Rockett
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