The Derby City Rovers are excited to announce the return of Lee Chalmers as their PDL Head Coach for the 2016 season. Chalmers was named to the position prior to the 2015 season, replacing previous boss Tyrone Marshall, who joined the staff of Real Salt Lake of the MLS. Despite a challenging season in which the side was hindered by injuries and inconsistency, a foundation was established which the club hopes to build upon this summer. We recently caught up with Lee to discuss his outlook for the 2016 campaign and more broadly his passion for coaching.
What have you been up to during your time away?
I have since moved to Germany and opened a sports marketing/recruiting company. The Company is a Football focused company with its foundation set in Football Youth Development, player opportunity and international football experiences. Chalmers is the founder of Vivo 7 Sports.
What were some of the lessons you learned during your first year with PDL?
That it’s never easy when you’re on the road, and that squad depth is something that is key to being successful. Also the matches are very physical, direct, and played at a very high tempo. Something that isn't easy to manage for less experienced players.
Do you have a favorite moment from last year?
For me there were certainly highs and lows, but not one particular moment that stood out. I'm always happy when the players show the level of commitment, insight, and passion that is the brand of Rovers football.
What do you enjoy most about working with Rovers?
That the Club ethos and core values are set in player development. That the people involved are like minded and believe in developing talent and providing opportunity.
What are your goals for this season?
To give the players both new and returning a great football experience. To help develop each individual, both as a player and a person, and to see the team play good, attractive, intelligent football.
As a coach, what does success look like to you?
Success for me is in the holistic development of the group. Being able to work with the players, the coaching staff, and the management to provide the platform and environment for each individual player to reach their personal objectives, and those set out by the Club.
Why do you like coaching? What keeps you inspired?
For me coaching is a unique learning experience. I enjoy the interaction with different people from different backgrounds, cultures, etc. Having football as the biggest common denominator, as the one thing we all understand, have an opinion on and, what brings us all together is what keeps me interested. To listen and learn, and to see how all these different individuals solve football problems is what keeps me inspired.
What is your coaching philosophy and influences?
My philosophy is to play the game with the respect that it deserves. To express yourself and your ability by playing within the guidelines set out, with the system in mind, being aware of the tactics, and the formation, but being confident enough in your own ability and insight to make the best decisions, and to always be thankful for the opportunity to play the game.