Meet New Women's Assistant Soccer Coach Adam Sayer

June 12, 2009


With the 2009 women’s soccer season quickly approaching, Head Coach Denise Schilte-Brown is pleased to have assistant coach Dr. Adam Sayers on board with the Bulls. Sayers comes to USF with a diverse and wide range of experience.
Originally from Birmingham, England, Sayers came to the United States on a soccer scholarship to Tusculum College in Tennessee, and later made it his permanent home where he was a full-time assistant and graduate assistant with the Middle Tennessee State soccer program.

With a Ph.D in human performance, he will be contributing a significant amount of knowledge regarding the physical aspect of the game. His expertise will be an integral part of the team. He will also be a key role in the tactical input as well as other areas.

Before arriving at Middle Tennessee, Sayers served as a youth soccer coach with U.K. Elite Soccer in New Jersey. Sayers also spent two years as an assistant in football development with the Football Association of Wales.

While at Middle Tennessee, Sayer had the responsibilities of coaching, physical conditioning, recruiting, scouting, community work and summer camps.  He was also accountable for coaching Middle Tennessee's keepers, and he has demonstrated an ability for quickly bringing young talent into the program.

In addition, Sayers is also an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He served as a coach educator with the Tennessee State Soccer Association, instructing on "D" and "E" Coaching Licenses, and is also an Olympic Development Program (ODP) state head coach.
What brought you to USF?
AS: It was a very attractive position at  this stage of my career. Obviously this is an established university, in a nationally competitive conference - the BIG EAST. Also, I got the opportunity to work with Denise and Chris, who are very experienced coaches as well. So the position itself and the opportunities that would come from this led me to moving down here to Tampa.
: What was the transition like coming from Britain to Tennessee?
AS: That was an interesting one. The first time and place that I came to America was for college in a very small town called Greenville, Tennessee, and that was a large adjustment. Coming to a tiny little town was very different, it was great and I enjoyed it, but it was a very different living environment. And it was strange because there were so many different players from diverse countries and all over the USA that came to this tiny town. It was almost bizarre how all these different people from around the world ended up in one small school in Tennessee.
What brought you to the United States?
AS: I came here on a soccer scholarship to Tusculum College.
: What has the transition been like coming to Tampa, and how long have you been here exactly?
AS: I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now and actually went home for a week to England because my brother was getting married. So I just got back and am still getting used to everything. I’m learning about the area; it’s very vibrant and I like it a lot. It’s going to be a long transition though because I have a baby, and actually my wife and child are still in Tennessee. It’s going to be a summer of going back and forth while still looking for a house down here. So hopefully we’ll be settled and moved in by the end of the summer. The transition is ongoing, but everyone here at USF has been brilliant, welcoming and extremely helpful. What was the the hiring process like for you?
AS: The job was advertised on the NCAA website, so I became aware of it first from seeing that. So then I applied and came in to talk with Denise and it rolled from there. I was lucky enough to get offered an interview and got the job. For this sort of job, you have to be ready to move wherever it takes you when the opportunity presents itself, and I was ready to do that at that moment in time.
: What are your impressions of the USF women’s soccer program?
AS: A huge amount of potential is the first thing that comes to mind, and is what struck me initially. This program is clearly moving in the right direction. As I said earlier, Chris and Denise were very successful at their previous university, building their program and competing at the national level, and I think that the potential is here to do that. Obviously the location is appealing for recruits, the support from the administration is excellent, and Chris and Denise’s experience in building a program up to the national level is achievable here. I met the players at the interview and have spoken to a few that have stayed for the summer, but I haven’t had any  time to work with them myself so I’m really looking forward to that in the fall. What will your role be here at USF and what sort of things in particular will you be focusing on?
AS: I will be working with the goalkeepers and also contributing to several other areas of the program, for example in physical and tactical areas. Soccer is comprised of many variables that contribute to the success of the program. We will all assume several roles and responsibilities in trying to achieve success with this team.
: What kind of work with the goalkeepers will you being doing? When will you start working with them officially?
AS: The girls will be reporting back in early August and then we will have a couple of weeks of pre-season training. Our first exhibition game is scheduled for August 16th, with another exhibition game on the 22nd. The first regular season game is on the 28th. So August will be the month that we start working day to day. We will always work on technical aspects of the game. At this level, it will be mostly maintenance work. We will then look to incorporate their strengths into the team performance from a tactical standpoint. We work on how we can get the most out of each individual player within the team environment. We will also initially be performing physical production work, and then physical maintenance work throughout the season, with the objective being to maximize performance of the physical components most relative to the demands of the game. What was it like working with the Middle Tennessee program?
AS: It was great, I loved it. I was working with a great staff up there and had a good support system. We had a very good group of players.
Has your family moved here yet?
AS: No, my family is still in Tennessee but they will be here at the end of the summer. My wife will be working up there until the end of July.
When and where did you start playing soccer?
AS: I first started as most people do in England; I guess I was around eight or nine. I carried on playing at my school and my local town as a youth player, and that carried on into college when the opportunity came for me to play in America. I played in Tennessee for four years and graduated from there and then went on to graduate school at Eastern Kentucky University. I graduated from EKU and moved back to Wales, and that’s where I began coaching.  I worked there for a year and a half and then from there I moved to New Jersey for a year and then moved back down to Tennessee and worked there for five years.
How did you feel about moving to the United States?
AS: As I remember it, the feeling of excitement was the predominant one. I wasn’t as scared or apprehensive about the move as I was excited about it. I had always wanted to come to America, and had never been, and I had gotten this wonderful opportunity to come and go to school. And the combination of me being able to play soccer made it more exciting. That subdued everything else.
: What has it been like working with Denise and Chris?
AS: It has been brilliant, it’s been just great. They’ve really helped me settle and have been extremely helpful. I’ve only been here for a few weeks, but it’s been fantastic.
Have you been enjoying the weather here in Tampa?
AS: That will probably be the biggest adjustment for me, the weather. Obviously it gets very hot in Tennessee in the summer, but it’s a bit more humid here. When I first came down here with my family, we managed to go to St. Pete Beach for a little bit. But that was sort of a weekend for getting used to everything. I’m just trying to spend most of my time getting to know my way around, but it’s really been great.
What do you think that you are going to bring to this program as a coach?
AS: I would say that having being educated on several European (UEFA) licenses enables me to offer a different perspective. Also, having experience and qualifications in exercise science enables me to provide information in that area. All of the coaches here have different backgrounds, which allows all of us to draw on unique experiences when providing input to each other and to the team.
What is your favorite thing about this area?
AS: Well, I haven’t lived here for very long, but I do like the climate, even though it’s a bit hot in the summer. I like how people are able to play outdoor for most of  the year. I like the accessibility to the diverse range of activities. You can go to the beach if you want, you can go to the city where there are lots of nice restaurants, there are a lot of pro sports here as well. The airport is great because it is accessible to lots of different places like England which is really important for me. I think the diverse range of activities and benefits are what make this area a great place to live.
: What do you expect for the upcoming season out of the women soccer team?
AS: I think that qualifying for the BIG EAST tournament would be the initial goal, and then stringing together some good results and moving on from there would be the next step.


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