Head Coach Shaun Spencer, Bellevue Athletic (Seattle, WA), talks Man United & Premier League Experience
As a youth soccer player in the UK, Shaun Spencer always had ambitions of participating in the beautiful game at the highest level. So much so that in his teens he decided that he would go on to study Sports Management and Coaching Education at his local university.
“Growing up, my brother played at Manchester United up until the U16s and when I was looking for work experience during university, I was able to connect with the club. I was fortunate enough to get coaching experience at the club directly under Alex Ferguson and his staff.”
After graduating from university, United told Spencer he would have to gain more experience before being offered a full-time role. From there he took up positions at Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers. It wasn’t until he took a job for a particular club in blue that Manchester United quickly offered him a full-time position.
“I had a friend who was at Man City at the time who was able to help get me a job assisting with scouting and coaching. When United heard about that, they quickly called me up and wanted to bring me back over”
Spencer in the coming years would go on to serve as the official Fitness Coach for former Premier League team Blackpool, working under Manchester United and England legend Paul Ince. After his experience working in the Premier League, Spencer began receiving youth soccer coaching offers in the California-area. It wouldn’t be long before he learned about the UPSL through local soccer contacts.
Now Head Coach of Bellevue Athletic in the Seattle, Washington area, Spencer explains what drew him to the UPSL league.
“I like the removal of all the unnecessary barriers to join a high-quality league. It makes the game more accessible which I love. It levels the playing field and gives people access to starting clubs and gaining experience at a very good level.”
“What we’re trying to do with Bellevue Athletic is to create a brand of soccer and change the way young players are educated in this country. We’re not just relying on 11 athletes; we’re developing well-rounded players who can get the job done. We’re an ambitious club” Spencer explains.
When outlining the differences between youth soccer in the UK and the United States he says “If you’re good, in England, good teams are not far away, and club dues typically cost around 20 or 25 pounds per season so that’s another good thing. But the most important difference—Academies and youth soccer coaches are never judged based on results; the development of the players is always the most important”
With Premier League experience leading the helm, Bellevue Athletic will look to finish top of the Pacific Northwest Premier Division conference. They have started the season undefeated after a 2-1 victory over Primos de Pelaez. Head Coach Shaun Spencer and the boys will look to continue their good start by taking down Cultures United (Seattle, WA) this weekend away from home.
About the UPSL
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer). Contact UPSL: [email protected] / Media: [email protected]