In the next of our “Player Developers” series of interviews, we’re speaking with Mark Ross, Head of Academy at Wexford FC in the League of Ireland.

Mark is a highly-qualified coach, holding both a UEFA A Licence AND UEFA Elite A Licence. He has also been the Director of Football and Head of Womens’ Football at Carlow Kilkenny FC.

Very exciting times ahead in Wexford & Mark is at the forefront of putting an elite culture in place across all Academy operations.

PlayerStat Data: How many years have you been working with young players on their soccer development?

Mark: Twenty-two years

PSD: What is your greatest driver/motivation within your role?

Mark: To help players reach their full potential.

PSD: What is your favourite/most cherished memory when working with young players?

Mark: Smiles.

PSD: What is the most important facet of the coach/young player relationship, in your opinion?

Mark: Trust.

PSD: What is your view on the use of performance data insights/wearables/sports psych methods across youth soccer?

Mark: A helpful learning tool – some people learn easier with visuals and they help guide the direction of learning for the player.

PSD: If you could bring one new tech innovation into your day-to-day youth soccer role, what would it be?

Mark: Video clips to back up verbal feedback.

PSD: What does success mean to you, from a youth player/team perspective?

Mark: Helping to develop well rounded, confident, ambitious people, who have self-worth, resilient and empathetic towards others.

PSD: Finally, what is your greatest piece of advice/guidance for your players on their development journey?

Mark: 1 mouth 2 ears, and 2 eyes…. use them accordingly!

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