Coaching Spotlight: Daniel Alessi

Coaching Spotlight: Daniel Alessi

Since first joining the XLR8 team in 2018, Daniel has implemented his professional football knowledge and experience into his coaching skillset. Daniel’s coaching has been influenced by his time playing overseas in Italy and England, which he looks to spread across the local teams within XLR8.

How did you first get involved in coaching?

In 2018 I took the opportunity to complete my C Licence when I returned home from Newcastle Jets to play in the NPL. Shortly after that I spoke with Ed Ferguson and Nick Marr who helped me start coaching at various local clubs through XLR8.

Can you share a brief summary of your playing journey?

I played my junior club football for Sacred Heart Pymble and West Pymble before representing Northern Tigers. Later I was selected for the NSW Institute of Sport and then the Western Sydney Wanderers Academy, where I got promoted to the first team and played three seasons in the A-league. I then spent two seasons at Newcastle Jets before returning back to Sydney to play in the NPL. Before COVID I spent two seasons playing semi-professionally in Italy and England.

How has your playing career influenced your coaching journey?

My playing career has exposed me to such diverse football philosophies and player management styles – so I try to bring these experiences into my own coaching where possible. Playing ‘total football’ in my youth years, defensive styles in Italy or more direct football in England have all influenced how I coach and see the game.

Why do you coach with XLR8 and what do you love most about coaching?

I coach with XLR8 to assist in developing players’ skills and love for the game within Northern Suburbs – where I started playing my football. Currently I coach an U18s team where I like challenging my players with advanced tasks and team tactics. With this age group I enjoy the comradery and preparing my players mentally for senior football.

What would be your advice to coaches and players that strive to improve themselves?

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from other coaches or experienced players. Going into training have some specific aspects of coaching or playing you wish to improve and make a conscious effort to do those things often and to the best of your ability. Enjoy the process.

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