Phil Smith

Phil is one of our football coaches and loves having the opportunity to work with a great group of children and watch them implement in training or games, the skills they learn.

What is your profession?

Public Relations consultant.

Why did you join Thurlby Tigers FC?

My son has been with the Academy since the age of five. I knew the club were looking for coaches to take the team forward and, together with another Dad, I stepped forward to help. It has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

What positions(s) do you hold within the club?

Football Coach.

Which coaching qualifications do you have?

FA Level 1.

What do you enjoy most/least about the role you play for your club?

As a coach, I most enjoy having the opportunity to work with a great group of children and watching them implement in training or in games the things we are trying to teach them (and also being supported by a fantastic group of parents).

It isn’t all about winning, as we know, and I personally enjoy games where we have really put up a fight and the team have given everything! It is both exciting, and rewarding, to be part of the club and I love match days. There is nothing I don’t enjoy per se.

What is your favourite Thurlby Tigers memory?

As a Dad, it would be my son’s first goal for Thurlby at the 2019 Deeping summer tournament. He had done really well all season but the one thing that was missing was a goal. Then, out of nowhere – and from a long way out – he fired in a last-minute goal to help us win 1-0. It was a really proud moment and he has certainly developed massively during this current season too.

Which professional team do you support?

Sheffield Wednesday, since 1986. I’ve seen it all!

Who have you played football for?

Bourne Head Rangers (as they were) from Under 10’s to Under 16’s. I also played for my school and university teams.

What is the biggest game you have ever played in or coached?

When I was 10 I played in a competition called the Pell Cup. The final was played at the Sir Halley Stewart playing field, home of Spalding United. We played 11-a-side, on a full size pitch, and I can remember the pitch being bone dry. That did work out, though, because I lobbed the goalkeeper (after the ball bobbled up!) and we won 1-0. We got the climb the ‘famous steps’ at Spalding, and lifted our first trophy.

Which do you prefer, coaching or playing? Why?

I enjoyed playing – and the people I grew up playing football with have been friends for life – but I stopped playing competitively at a relatively young age (in my twenties). I do regret that in some ways, because now I am coaching I find I want to play myself. I’m probably a better coach than player.

Who is your footballing hero?

David Hirst – if you haven’t heard of him, watch his goals on Youtube!

What three things would you take on a desert island and why?

Tough question – tempted to say my mobile phone and Ipad because they are perceived as so important in the modern day, but I think I could live quite happily without these. I’m going to say…

  • My running gear
  • Gardening stuff (there must be some work needed on a desert island!)
  • Collection of football autobiographies, all of which help me to relax
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