A lifelong soccer player, Coach McSheffrey hails from Coleraine County Derry in Northern Ireland. While Coach McSheffrey will be moving to the Eastern Shore from New York to accept the Director position, he is not new to the Gulf Coast. Coach played his first soccer game in the USA in 1981 on the Bayside Academy field as a striker for the University of South Alabama. Coach has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from South Alabama and holds a Masters degree in Modern European History from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.
Coach's professional soccer career led him from Mobile, AL to New York after being drafted by the New York Express to play indoor professional soccer in 1986. He also played professionally outdoor soccer for the Long Island Roughriders for the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
From 1990 to 1999, Coach taught European History at a private catholic high school. In 2000 he became a full-time professional soccer coach, coaching at Syosset Soccer Club, where he served as Director of Coaching from 2008-2015 and Farmingdale Soccer Club from 2017- present. He also coached elite level players for the Long Island Junior Soccer program (LIJSL) and was a New York State coach for the Eastern New York (ENYSSA) State Soccer Association. Coach McSheffrey is a member of the University of South Alabama Hall of Fame and was awarded the New York Catholic Coach of the Year twice.
A NSCAA licensed coach with additional training as a Director of Coaching, Coach McSheffrey is also energized by the opportunity and the growth possibilities for FSC. "This is a unique and enticing opportunity for me in a Club that I believe is primed for growth. Returning to the Gulf Coast is not only a welcoming move for me personally, but it provides me with a challenge in a caring community that I am sure I am going to relish. There is also is a beautiful synchronicity to the move that fulfills the wonderful circle of life, for my first game on American soil was at Bayside Academy”.
The University of South Alabama retired soccer Coach Roy Patton commented that Coach McSheffrey, "is blessed with a natural teaching - coaching personality. His enthusiasm for young people and the opportunities provided by the game are immediately obvious. His sense of humor, welcoming personality, broad depth of experience and innate understanding of what is needed across the spectrum of youth age groups set Declan apart as a soccer educator. Needless to say, Declan's connections are far-reaching and appreciated in the world of U.S. Soccer. FSC has hired a truly outstanding and professionally licensed Director of Coaching who is excited to return and lead the FSC onwards and upwards!”
Contact Information for Declan McSheffrey, Club Director
Cell # 516-238-6773
We are excited to announce Matt Miller has accepted the position as Interim Academy Director for Fall 2020. Matt Miller was born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama, but now calls Fairhope home forever. He is married to his wife, Rebecca, and has two beautiful children, Cade, who is nine and Adelynn, who is five. He loves the City of Fairhope, the sense of community, and all the kids that encompass the Fairhope Soccer Club (FSC).
Matt played football at the University of Alabama from 2001 to 2005. He began his career at the University as a walk-on and ended up on scholarship for three years. He was the recipient of the prestigious Pat Trammel Award for Leadership his senior year at Alabama. Matt was also voted as the ESPN “Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Week” for his touchdown against Mississippi State. In his final bowl game, the Cotton Bowl (2006) against Texas Tech, Matt made the final catch to secure a field goal that ultimately won the game for Alabama. This moment has been captured in a Daniel Moore painting titled “The Last Pass,” a Daniel Moore sketch titled “In the Clutch,” and featured in a James T. Bailey painting titled “3rd and Victory.”
Matt began his sports career playing soccer. He has always loved the game. He played soccer from the young age of four through his senior year of high school. He chose to focus on football college. His love for soccer has always been there and was born again with his son Cade who now plays for Fairhope Academy. Matt began coaching for Fairhope Soccer Club’s Recreational League in 2016 and also coached Academy teams starting in 2018. He has participated in multiple US Soccer Grassroots Training Sessions to better himself as a coach and a leader.
Matt is looking forward to the Fall 2020 season and can’t wait to get to work! He leaves you with his favorite quote: “If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride- and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.” --Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant