Wayne Harrison Joins Tonka United!
We are excited to announce the hiring of Wayne Harrison at Tonka United! Wayne will oversee coach & player development for the U11-U14 age groups, as well as provide coaching education on-field clinics for coaches at all levels. Wayne’s expertise and philosophy are a natural match with Tonka United’s style of play. Many of you may know Wayne from his Soccer Awareness books, online coaching education resources, and his former days in Minnesota as the DOC at Eden Prairie Soccer Club.
Wayne brings a wealth and breadth of experience. An exceptional career which includes being a professional player in England, Director of Coaching in MN & CA, UEFA Professional “A" License Coach, Professional Coach & Academy Director both in Europe and the United Arab Emirates, Author, Notable Trainer world-wide, and founder of Soccer Awareness.
See Wayne’s latest article in Soccer America - HERE.
My wife Mary and I are excited to be back in Minnesota! We left in 2009 always with the intention of moving back here one day. It has always been our second home after England. I wanted to keep improving my knowledge in my profession and really challenge myself, hence the various roles I have held these past years. Our daughter, Sophie, married a fine Minnesotan man and planted her roots here. We now have a grandson, Jacob, and a new granddaughter arriving next soon. My wife Mary and I felt it was time to be close to our immediate family and many friends as we have watched and waited until a suitable coaching position became available in order to move back. I was lucky enough to be offered a position with Jonathan and Bobbi at Tonka United, a club I know well, of course, as our main rivals at EPSC all those years ago. Between them they have spearheaded the development of a highly successful club of which I am now very proud to be a part of. I look forward immensely to getting to know all the coaches, players, and parents and everyone involved in the club and hopefully adding to what is already a top-class program.
- Wayne Harrison is a former professional player and has been a highly qualified professional coach for many years.
- At the professional level he has held the position of Academy Director at Blackpool Football Club in England and at Al Ain Football Club in the United Arab Emirates, Middle East.
- Author – 14 Soccer Coaching Books and four DVDs on Soccer Training, plus 32 eBooks on Game Development.
- Al Ain Soccer Club – During his time as Academy Director, Al Ain Soccer Club achieved seven National Championships at Youth Professional Level (U9 to U19) in the United Arab Emirates. Six age groups finishing Championship Runners-up during that time.
- Philosophy – Whilst winning was a major factor in the psyche of these professional clubs, we always promoted the development of what we called “playing the right way,” which meant teaching the players individually and tactically to the best level we could with the premise of keeping possession of the ball.
- Voted the Top Professional Academy in the UAE by Marco Monte of Inter Milan, the consultant for the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in 2011.
- Also defeating teams such as Inter Milan, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Raja of Morocco in tournaments at U15 and U16 to highlight the level of play.
- Eden Prairie Soccer Club – Wayne is also the former Director of Coaching for Eden Prairie Soccer Club, MN for 9 years from 2000-2009.
Other Roles and Qualifications
- Educational Soccer Symposium Clinician – Over many years: For the NSCAA, World Class Coaching, Reedswain and many State organizations throughout the USA as well as in the UAE, England and Japan.
- Surf Soccer Club – Boys Director of Coaching: San Diego; California.
- Nationals Capital – Technical Director: Lansing; Michigan
- Soccer Awareness Professional Training Programs – “Teaching a One Touch Mentality”. Established in 1996 to the present day, Soccer Awareness is a continuous program alongside my other roles. Soccer Awareness is a developmental training company with the objective being teaching the mind a brain-focused, proven, one-touch training method to develop quicker playing and a quicker-thinking mindset in players.
- UEFA Professional “A" License Coach since 1996
- NSCAA Premier Diploma holder and Staff Coach
- Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Psychology/Applied Physiology
- Professional Player (Blackpool) and Oulu Palloseura (Finland)
- Professional Coach in England and abroad (Finland, United Arab Emirates, and USA)
- Represented Great Britain Soccer team in the World Student Games in Mexico in 1979.