The New York Shamrocks are proud to announce the addition of former Manchester United and Ireland youth player Kevin Grogan as technical director.
NY Shamrocks President Sean Mc Mullan (pictured left) welcoming new Technical Director Kevin Grogan to the club this week. Picture: John Riordan
Newly promoted to the Cosmopolitan Soccer League Division 1, the Queens based soccer club will return to the top tier of the amateur game in New York for the first time in a decade.
And the Dubliner says he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“I am honored to take on the role of technical director at the New York Shamrocks,” Grogan said this week.
“This is a club with a very proud tradition stretching back to the 1960s and ever since I moved to this country to coach full time, I have been observing the Rocks closely in the hope that they would return to the level where they belong.
“I have to pay tribute to Glen Wrafter for achieving promotion to the first division which is no easy feat and he has provided a very solid foundation to build on. He assembled a talented squad which ran Polonia to the wire.
“I want to thank the committee for making this a reality and I look forward to working with the players as we begin the hard work ahead.”
Grogan added that how the Shamrocks players approach life in the first division will be important.
“I will place demands on the players but that is what’s required if they want to maintain there status in the top division and build for the future. It’s not just about what happens on the pitch but also how these players live off the pitch. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a full-time job for them now with diet, rest, training and games. They all need to find the intrinsic motivation.
“I am very much aware of the magnitude of being associated with this great club and i take the responsibility extremely seriously. The relationship with the club and players will grow naturally but they will see my enthusiasm and intensity as we move forward.”
The Shamrocks reserves coach Stevie Doyle will return to the role for a third season and will also assist Grogan with first team duties. Doyle guided the reserves to victory in the Saunders Cup and also had his team challenging for league honors, falling just short against NYPD.
“Stevie has a lot of quality attributes to be a successful manager at multiple levels. I really look forward to working closely with him to build the on-field brand and culture.”
Club president Sean Mc Mullan said the appointment of the Queens based coaching pro was a sign of the ambition of the club.
“We’re delighted that Kevin believes in what we are doing at the Shamrocks,” said Mc Mullan.
“It is a huge step up for the first team as well as the reserves and Kevin gives us a chance to put in place a solid set up. No one is in any doubt about the challenge he faces but we all appreciate a challenge and we will give him as much support as possible to carry that out.”
Mc Mullan thanked Glen Wrafter for his service as first team coach.
“Glen has been outstanding since he took over the role five years ago. Not only did he bring us back to the first division, he has brought this club on leaps and bounds across the board and he is a true Rock.
“His work commitments take priority now but we will always be able to call on him as we continue to grow as a club.”
Kevin Grogan has spent the past four years developing young footballers in the US after injury forced him to retire from a promising professional career in England.
He signed full-time for Manchester United in 1997 having impressed at schoolboy level for Belvedere.
The following summer, he joined the likes of John O’Shea, Andy Reid and Liam Miller as part of Brian Kerr’s famous Ireland U16s squad which claimed an unprecedented victory at the European Championships in Scotland — beating Italy 2-1 in the final.
Before his career in England could even get off the ground, however, Grogan was plagued by chronic pelvic injuries. He departed United in 2000 and returned to Ireland for a spell with UCD.
Injury once again cut short an opportunity at Millwall and his remaining playing days were spent at Bray Wanderers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Glentoran.
With the help of Alex Ferguson and others, he has developed a successful career in soccer coaching and development.
He focuses on elite performance seminars, club consultations and team camps, among other aspects.
“I learned a lot from (Alex Ferguson’s) values, not just in soccer but in life in terms of workrate and discipline. When you’re young, you don’t realize you have learned those things but now that I’m older and can look back, it has been instilled in all the young Manchester United players. That has definitely helped me in my career.”
- For further information, please contact John Riordan