Jeff Paulus (FC Edmonton) : « There is absolutely a buzz around the academy »

FC Edmonton formalized their participation in the first season of Canadian Premier League earlier this year. Inductee coach of the professional team this summer, Jeff Paulus, 48, is a coach since the age of 20! He gives us his feeling about his method and his objectives with the club of which he was the director of the Academy.

Why do you coach in CPL? What is your aim?
I have accepted the head coaching position with FC Edmonton as a natural progression from my previous role of Assistant coach for the past 6 years while our club was in the NASL. I think that anyone who gets into coaching hopes to make it to the highest level they can achieve. I have coached at every level of the game in Canada from grassroots, to club, provincial program, national programming in the NTC program, college with NAIT, Canada Summer Games, and professionally with FCE. The opportunity to challenge myself, my beliefs, and my methods is what drives me in this new role. My aim is to win a championship for our owners and our fans as well as help to develop our young academy players to see them move to the highest levels possible.

 What kind of team do you want? What kind of players are you looking for?
I want an attacking team that is possession oriented and extremely high energy. I am looking for players with above average pace in every position and a hunger and energy to use the CPL as a launching pad to reaching their playing goals in the highest levels possible for them. I want players who are technically strong and able to play in small areas with composure.

 When will the trials start?
At this point I do not have any players for an FC Edmonton specific open trial. Our training camp will start in late February or early March depending on when the league is set to kick off.

Do you feel effervescent around the team since you are in CPL?
There is absolutely a buzz around the academy as the young players all know they have a chance to catch on with our first team once we start our preseason in the new year.

What did it change in your daily since you know you are in CPL?
For me personally my daily routine is somewhat the same as I have been the assistant coach with our first team since December 2012. I have always been involved with the scouting of players and negotiating with agents so this is not that new for me. I have also retained my role with the U18 academy team until the end of the season so really there has been no change outside of a little more media attention.

Interview by www.justesoccer.com