Rush Soccer is very excited to announce its newest employee for the Mumbai Rush Technical Director position. Andrew Thomson will fly to Mumbai during the month of December and will take over this exciting project with one of our top International Partners: Mumbai Rush. In the meantime, Andrew Thomson is visiting Colorado Rush for a two-weeks training visit in order to get familiar with the Rush Way, its Philosophy, Core Values, etc.
Q: Welcome to the Rush, Andrew. Can you introduce yourself to the Rush Community?
A: I was raised in Brighton, on the south coast of England, I support my local soccer team, Brighton & Hove Albion - currently in the English Championship. As a player I was a goalkeeper who was lucky to play for Brighton's Centre of Excellence for a short time before being released and I then went on to play for my county representative team (England's version of ODP) as well as a semi-professional club called Worthing FC. I got into coaching at the age of 13, working with young goalkeepers within my local community, and by age-16 I was assisting the county representative coaches for Sussex Schools Men's Under-18s. In 2008, at the age of 18, I came to work in the US (based in New England) coaching community soccer for the best part of two years. After graduating in 2012, I started to work as Director of Coaching for a club in Massachusetts, as well as coaching club-level under-11 girls and under-14 boys. I've made coaching and developing players a huge part of my life over the last 12 years, and I look forward to contributing to Rush Soccer - both in Mumbai initially, and eventually internationally with the wider organization.
Q: What did you know about Rush before taking over the Mumbai Rush Technical Director Position? What was your impression about our organization?
A: Coaching in Massachusetts I had been to a few tournaments where Rush teams had been playing and was always impressed with how both the players and coaches were interacting on and off the field. There has always been a clear desire to develop and achieve from persons within Rush and that is something that I was looking to become a part of.
Q: You're currently in Colorado for a two week training visit. What would you highlight from your visit? Has you impression about Rush changed after experiencing the Rush Way in Colorado?
A: My first impression has been the really high level of both professionalism and humility of all the staff from the top down at Rush HQ. The organisation also clearly believes in people and has offered me the resources and confidence to help the already very strong program in Mumbai. I feel that Rush has a high commitment towards developing programs and people around the world.
Q: How are you feeling about the new experience you are about to start in Mumbai, India, as a Technical Director?
A: Very excited! The Mumbai program is already a fantastic, successful club in an area of the world where soccer is really starting to take off. I'm also looking forward to getting the opportunity to work closely with the coaches already in place in Mumbai and helping them achieve their goals and experience even greater success in a wider setting.
Q: What can you tell us about Indian Soccer?
A: With the new ISL, it's clear from the outside that there is a burgeoning passion for soccer in India – a passion I'm desperate to harness and use to develop players to go on to higher reaches within the game, both nationally and internationally. Having lived with the two boys from Mumbai who are currently living in Colorado, Hamza and Akram, I have had the opportunity to learn more about grassroots development soccer in India.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you think you will be facing both personally and professionally?
A: Personally, adapting to the culture in Mumbai will obviously take a little time, although it is something that I am excited to embrace and adapt to. Professionally, my first challenge will be to understand the Indian soccer culture, and use my experiences from working in soccer in the UK and in the US to create the optimum in environment for players to develop and achieve success.
Q: What are your goals for 2015 in Mumbai Rush and in Rush Soccer?
A: I don’t want to get ahead of myself and make definitive goals for Mumbai Rush through 2015 until I have gotten to know the environment and culture on the ground, however, personally I will be looking to assess and work with the base of the organisation (young, developmental players) to ensure that Mumbai Rush is setting solid soccer foundations for many years to come, and create top soccer stars of the future!
Welcome to the Rush and good luck in Mumbai, Andrew!