Following last month’s visit from Carl Valentine, a group of young soccer players were again treated to some fun and skill-building with a former professional.
Erin MacNulty, who played in goal for the Canadian Under-20 women’s team, was guest coach at a Saturday clinic for girls at Valley View field.
“I like training young kids,” said MacNulty, who took the group of U-8 to U-10 girls through a number of footwork drills and introduced them to goalkeeping. “Make it fun for them — more fun than anything.”
The Winnipeg-bred MacNulty had played under Riptide soccer development co-ordinator Shel Brodsgaard when he coached with the national program. She tended the pipes for the 2008 team that won gold at the U-20 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football ) championship. She later trained and played in tournaments with the women’s national team. MacNulty also played soccer at Florida State University, where she earned a bachelor’s in business management, and at Penn State, where she completed a masters. She now works in Vancouver, and coaches on the side.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to go into coaching full-time,” she said.
The Comox Valley United Soccer Club and the Marine Harvest Riptide co-hosted the clinic.
“We’re trying to co-operate heavily with Riptide. We’re a feeder organization to them,” said Stefan Szkwarek of the CVUSC.
“This is our way to reinvest in the future. We get an ex-professional, ex-national team player. Second time around, it’s amazing.”