Callison, you and I met through eccde. How did you meet eccde?
I messaged eccde back in December of 2011 after taking a look through the mentor thread. At that time, I was in a psychological & neurological therapeutics course, and it was ﬁnals week, so I was doing anything to avoid studying as my grade was going to end up the same regardless of my performance on the exam. I was able to discuss some theories about the game with him and he seemed to see that I was interested in more than just helping out my own club, so he offered me avenues to get involved at the national level. I haven’t looked back, as it has been the best decision I have made since coming back to Hattrick. Eccde has been a great mentor to me, and I’m sure he would be to any aspiring manager who wants to get involved in helping out our effort for Team USA.
Is this your first time playing hattrick?
Ha. No, it is not, sadly. To think where I’d be if I kept the original team I had…
Anyhow, I joined HT back in 2002 when I was 13. I had no clue what I was doing. I played on and off for a while, but quit later during high school, quite frankly due to the slow pace of the game-the same pace which keeps me playing these days.
When I came to college, I got addicted to playing Football Manager when my roommate and I would rotate playing against people in FIFA on Xbox Live. Somehow we got to talking about online football management games, and I had told him about some of HT’s competitors, but told him that Hattrick was always my favorite, but it moved too slowly. We decided to sign up and play each other in a friendly each and every week-or at least as many as possible. Since then he’s moved on, and now he doesn’t even play HT, so that’s disappointing, but I will not forget playing those games and sitting next to him rooting for my team. Even though I only won 27 of the 38 games that we played, they were very fun, and they were something to talk after he transferred schools.
Why did you leave last time? Why are you staying this time?
I think having a goal that is greater than “just for my team” really makes a huge difference. You know, it can be really disheartening to peruse the upper ranks of the USA, or any country really, and see how good those top teams really are. When you compare that to how slowly your own team gets better, it only gets worse.
Even though I train defending, I would like, in the future, to train a forward for the USA and get him to the NT someday. It’s not like that will be coming any time soon, as I will be moving to winger training in two seasons, but it’s something I aspire to do.
If I ever get “bored” with HT, I have a secondary plan to fall back on, and I think it could be very fun. I also like hearing about some of the niche players out there, and wouldn’t mind creating my own “niche beast” that spurs conversation among users on the forums.
Under Cata, you were a GK scout; this time you are the GK scout, FW scout and scouted England. What did you learn last time as the GK scout? What did you learn this time as the FW scout?
I came in under Cata, but it was very much near the end. I didn’t know much at all, other than that a goalkeeper needed some Keeper and Defending skill. After asking around and looking into what a NT goalkeeper needs, I really began to realize how much I was underestimating the set pieces skill. At the U20 level, I then became aware of how a set piece can change the game so quickly. At the lower club levels that I was used to, they didn’t seem like a huge deal, mainly because none of the clubs I was playing had a huge SP element to them. Taking my experience in playing a counter-attacking style and adding it to what I was learning about set piece skill, I began to understand how important it was to have a rather large amount of SP on our keeper.
For as little as I knew about keepers, I knew even less about forwards–except for the fact that I someday want to make an amazing one. One of the ﬁrst things I learned was that if a player does not have a spec, his chance of making the team decreases drastically, albeit a non-zero chance if form works out. Also, due to the fact that so many skills go into making a forward, it is interesting to see the different paths that managers use and to hear about the philosophies players use regarding the secondary skills, such as winger, passing, and playmaking.
How would you encourage others to be involved?
I think I can boil it down to some bullet points:
• If you can afford it, get supporter and join some feds, hopefully some our NT feds
• Get a mentor, or become a mentee (15947454.1). Talk to him/her weekly.
• Develop a long-term plan and critically assess it with others. As Mark Cuban says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “When I do something, I try to think ‘if someone were going to kick my [butt], how would he or she do it.” Bring that long-term plan to people you trust and have fun developing it.
• Bring your talents and/or what you can offer to the attention of NT staff. Regardless of how small it is, you can always help. We’ve seen numerous people with completely different levels of experience bring something to the table in this campaign alone.
What are your future plans for your club?
As stated before, this season and next I am going to be training defending. After this, I will be moving to winger, unless I have some guys make the U20 squad. After that U20 cycle though, I will be moving to winger regardless. I want to make some studly 15/15 wingbacks. At worst, they’ll make my club team very strong.
Coinciding with my training plans, my personal goal for my team is to promote to Div. IV within the next 3 seasons. I think I can do it within 2 season’s time.
After this point, I’m really not sure. I have a coach on my team that I hope to someday transform into an excellent coach and go from there.
What are your future plans for involvement with the NT/U20s?
I’d like to stay on the U20 staff for a while, if any future coach will have me. At some point, I’d like to transition over to being the defending scout, since I am more familiar with it than any other position, but as long as that need is ﬁlled, I’m comfortable staying put.
Someday down the road, I’d really like to the U20 coach. I’ve thought about running in other countries to get some experience at that level, but after seeing the amount of work the coach needs to put in, I’d better wait until I’m out of school to take on such a commitment.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I just want to say thanks to all who have helped me and have been patient with me. I’ve learned a lot in my time with this great group of people and I hope to continue learning more.
To those not involved, please consider becoming a dedicated trainer. Just training one guy for the U20 can become a symbiotic relationship for you and the country. Even if the player doesn’t make the team, your club will be markedly better due to your dedication.