British coaches kick it in C-dale |

British coaches kick it in C-dale

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

CARBONDALE – Ben Urry, Daniel Anderson and Scott Curry are getting a unique tour of the United States.The three British soccer coaches are traveling around the country instructing Challenger British Soccer Camps this summer. Their most recent stop, and final one of the summer, landed them in Carbondale where they have headed up the week-long, all-ages camp.The trio, along with 30 others, run camps in the Midwest region. Each week they instruct a camp, then at the end of the week, they get logistics of where to go and then set off driving to the next location. Three weeks ago, they were in Chicago, then they journeyed down to St. Louis before coming to Colorado – where they have enjoyed the scenery.

“I love it, I really do,” said Urry, who lives outside of London. “It’s tiring because we are used to being so low down (in elevation). But it’s good I have been taking a few photos around here. As far as having somewhere to coach, you can’t ask for a better view can you?”Curry likes Carbondale a lot more than some of the places they have been in the Midwest.”I like here because it is nice and chilled out,” said Curry, who coaches and plays soccer semi-professionally in Birmingham. “I have coached in Iowa as well, where it is just cornfields, so obviously here it is quite nice to look around.”For lodging, the coaches stay with a host family in the towns where they are running camps. For Curry, that has been an interesting part of the experience.

“It is quite weird. You just get settled and then you move again,” Curry said. “I struggled with it the first few weeks, but I have gotten used to it.”Although the schedule is tiring, the coaches love it. They instruct 3- to 5-year-olds, known as minikicks, for one hour each day and the 5- to 6-year-olds for two hours each day. For older kids, there is a half-day option or a full camp, which runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”We are working eight hours a day in the sun and it gets tiring,” Urry said. “Then on weekends, because you are traveling everywhere, there is no time to relax. So we have basically worked for 10 weeks without having a day off, which is pretty tiring.”The worst part of the job, according to Urry, is the driving.

“I-70 – Is there a worse road in the whole world?” he said with a smile. “You can basically see Colorado from Kansas.”The 75 players attending Carbondale’s camp are happy the coaches make the drive, though. Running drills, playing games and competing in scrimmages, the kids laugh and have fun while they improve their soccer skills. Sasha Williams, a 10-year-old from Carbondale, likes the camp so far mostly just because she adores playing the game.”I love soccer, it’s cool,” Williams said. “I really love soccer – it’s my sport.”

Twelve-year-old Sam Carpenter had fun playing a game of head or catch, an opposites game where coaches toss the ball at campers and say head when they want players to catch the ball and catch when they want players to head the ball. Carpenter, who is also from Carbondale, was rewarded for winning the game by getting a free shot at the rest of the campers who were lined up on the goal line with their backs turned. While that game brought a smile to his face, Carpenter said he also liked the part of camp where you learn new skills.”I’ve learned moves and basic stuff,” he said.When the camp wraps up on Friday, the coaches will get back in the car and head back to Kansas. Curry will be assigned to one more camp, but Anderson and Urry will be finished with their summer jobs. Urry plans on staying in the country for a while longer and experiencing the thrills of Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and New York. Then he will return to England to start his career as a loan consultant.”It’s good that I could spend the summer out here because when I go back I will be in an office in a shirt and tie,” he said.

Anderson will return to Birmingham and resume his job as a soccer coach. When Curry finishes his last camp, he is going to go back to St. Louis to stay with an old host family and do some sight-seeing that will include going to a Cardinals game. Then he will go back home where his soccer season will be starting up. But for a summer job, Curry said he has enjoyed himself.”I love it, but I want to go home because I am exhausted,” he said.

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