In this week’s “Get to Know” article, we will be learning more about Seacoast United Maine South staff member, Paul Cameron. Paul will be coaching the clubs 2010 Girls Premier Blue team for the 2018/19 season.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Liverpool, England, moved to South London aged 6 and grew up there. I now live in Portland, Maine with my wife Alison and three daughters, Natalie (8), Lucy (5) and Maeve (3). I've been in Maine since 2006 and came here from London, via 5 years living and working in Western CT and throughout New England.
What is your previous experience playing soccer? Coaching?
I played for Semi-Pro and good amateur teams in my late teens and twenties in London and had a friend that had been to the USA to coach Summer camps for several years. After talking with him I decided to come over in 2001 and worked for MLS Camps, mainly in CT almost year-round as a Player Development Officer at New Milford SC, but also ME, NH, MA, VT and NY running Summer camps and clinics.
My wife (Who was my girlfriend at the time) moved to Portland to go to Grad school, and in 2006 I followed her up here, and began working for Coastal SC coaching teams, which led to a full time job as the Girls Director of Coaching after Coastal SC merged with Seacoast United to become Seacoast United Maine. In 2015 I left the club as a full-time employee but kept coaching.
At this point I've coached at a lot of different levels and age groups, from 2-year old’s through College and everything in between. I've coached Rec, Travel, High School, College, Premier, WPSL and other bits and bobs!
What made you decide to want to start coaching?
I love Soccer and what could be better than teaching kids my favorite sport and getting paid for it!?
What attracted you to Seacoast United Maine?
As I said, I've been involved with the club since the beginning, but I think the professionalism of the club stands out as one of its major features. The transition from Coastal SC to Seacoast United Maine wasn't easy, but the merger between the clubs helped Soccer in Maine grow as we also merged with Maine Metro and Odyssey Sport 97 a few years later, while GPS merged with MCU to consolidate club Soccer in Maine from about five clubs to two. This helped concentrate the talent, so we had more success out of State which provided more opportunities for our players.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
That’s a tough one, because there's so many! They say the best coaches are the best thieves, so I've always tried to take away little bits and pieces, good or bad, from every other coach I come across, but probably my friend Patrick O'Donoghue for encouraging me to take the plunge and come to the US in the first place.
Other than him I've taken a lot from so many other coaches.
What’s been your best memory while being involved in coaching soccer?
First and foremost, it's always going through the process of coaching a group for a couple of years and watching them grow as people and get better as players - learning skills, how to be part of a team, leadership skills to name a few.
My first girls’ team in Maine was a special group for me. I got them as U12's and had the opportunity to take them to England when they were U14's to see professional games and play over there. Many of the kids I had in that group continued to play through college, still enjoy the game now, and I'm still friends with many of their parents and stay in touch with some of them through social media etc. They're all in their mid 20's now and it's great to see them as grown-ups and how far they've come.
I also have to say that winning a National Championship with the U17 Boys in 2016 was pretty good! That was a special group of players and not bad for the club’s "B" team in the age group!
I've coached a lot of different teams and some have more potential than others. I've coached "A" teams and "B" teams and just watching them achieve more than the sum of their parts is incredible.
Which current or former professional athlete did you admire the most growing up and why?
As a kid I always loved Daley Thompson who was a British Decathlete in the 80's that won gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships, but in terms of Soccer Kenny Dalglish was my favorite player growing up and then Steven Gerrard more recently.
I got to play football with Daley Thompson once a long time ago, which was great, and King Kenny was an unbelievable player for Liverpool as was Stevie G. Look them up on YouTube!
Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
I don't have any spare time! :) I have 3 kids so most of my time is devoted to my family. I guess if I had to pick one thing it might be cooking.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite food – Steak
Favorite genre of music – I like lots of different genres, from pop, to rock and hip hop
Favorite place to visit - London, to see family and friends
Favorite Premier League team – Liverpool