Hi Guys, Jack here!
The last couple of weeks have been really busy, and so I'm so happy to finally be able to release this interview with Tommy Wheeldon Jr.
To be honest, I still cannot believe that my Dad and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Tommy Wheeldon Jr. – and have watched it over and over again!
The first time I ever spoke with Tommy was during an early-round Island Games press conference where Cavalry FC played against FC Edmonton. We were able to setup an interview with Tommy Wheeldon Jr via email after connecting on with him on Twitter.
During the press conference, I asked Tommy what he had thought of Elliot Simmons' performance that game.
When answering my question, Tommy gave me such a detailed answer – he talked more about Elliot and their decision to bring him to the football club, his passing, and probing.
You can check out part of that Press Conference here:
I then asked a follow-up question, and he then expanded on Elliot’s role in the club as their “regista” – their quarterback. Something that I really loved about his answer was that he really took the time to explain the “why” behind his decisions.
Regista in Italian means ‘director. ‘ It actually means the one who directs, who dictates the offensive play of the team. … The player role regista would typically be the #8 shirt position. It's a very popular position in Italian football with Andrea Pirlo being the most famous servant of this player role.-SportKeeda.com
And since that first encounter, I've been so happy at any chance I've had to be able to ask him questions, which is why I was thrilled to be able to sit down and talk to him for an entire hour!
During the interview, Tommy was thoughtful, jovial and shared a lot of golden nuggets.
His explanations, made me see things in different ways, and some of the things I had to really “think” about. I had so many questions for Tommy, and because his answers were so interesting and it made me think about MORE QUESTIONS, I could have kept talking to him for hours.
One of the things that I love about Tommy is that when he talks about football you can hear the passion and his love of the game so much.
In this interview, he explains that his love of soccer came later in his life than most kids. That really surprised me because of the passion and love he has for the game, but it was interesting to see his development; first as a young boy spending time in the football dressing room with his father, to his own playing career, his apprenticeship at 16 and earning his first coaching license at the early age of 17, to the present day and what are his hopes and dreams are for the future.
We covered many things during the hour (see the timestamp below for the details) and some of the highlights of the interview were talking Everton and EPL football with Tommy, his recruitment strategy, and what he looks for in his players (intangible skills and the personality test) and his advice for footballers who are on trial.
I personally really enjoyed him dissecting the parts of the game down as well as asking him for his thoughts on what made Spain's Golden Generation so good (the reason I fell in love with football) and getting to know him on a more personal level – one of my favourite parts is asking him some fun RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS which you definitely have to check out!
As a young kid with aspirations to play professional soccer, I loved talking football with Tommy because I wanted to know more about his perspective on football – seriously, just the way he talks about it, you can't help but be drawn in and all you want to do is listen.
Tommy Wheeldon Jr is the coach who converted Joel Waterman to CB. Joel Waterman, under Tommy, lead the Canadian Premier League in passing percentage for defenders, a stat that might have got him signed by Club De Foot Montreal in the MLS, and also got him called to to the Senior Men's National Team.
So sit down, grab a snack (I recommend some popcorn – my favourite) and enjoy this interview with Cavalry FC Head Coach and General Manager, Tommy Wheeldon Jr.
Tommy Wheeldon Jr Interview
Tommy Wheeldon Jr Interview Timestamp
This timestamp is clickable in YouTube.
0:00:00 Welcome Tommy.
0:01:14 A Surprise.
0:02:21 How did you fall in love with soccer?
0:07:00 What do you miss most and miss least about your playing days?
0:11:44 What’s your favourite tactic to talk about?
0:17:55 What made you want to be a coach?
0:20:29 What do you look for in young players?
0:21:57 The right attitude.
0:27:04 Recruitment strategy
0:27:35 Playing the HFX Wanderers.
0:29:18 Everton discussion. Why do you think Everton is doing so well?
0:34:51 Do you like the nickname the toffees?
0:35:34 How do you get a message to the other side – how do you get the information out there?
0:38:05 Do you like the 5 sub rule?
0:39:35 How do you gauge fatigue?
0:41:17 How has the game changed in the last 10 years?
043:07 Death of the #10 discussion.
0:46:20 Defensive responsibility for all players.
0:47:42 The 6 second rule.
0:49:47 The 5 parts of the game.
0:51:19 How did you instruct your midfield?
055:10 Golden Era of Canadian soccer discussion.
0:58:21 Transfer news.
Rapid Fire Questions
1:01:00 Do you play FIFA?
1:01:13 What is your 5 a side dream team?
1:01:57 If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?
1:03:04 Do you have a pet?
1:03:21 What is your favourite fruit?
1:03:37 Do you have a nickname?
1:04:15 What is one superpower you'd like to have?
1:05:13 What’s your favourite thing to cook?
1:05:51 What is one place you’d like to visit?
1:06:30 What is your favourite movie or documentary?
1:07:53 What are 3 words that define you?
1:08:06 If you weren’t coaching soccer, what would you be doing?
1:09:11 Are you a good dancer?
1:09:45 What are your goals for the future?
1:11:33 Why was Spain so dominant 2008-2012?