Home Canadian Premier League CanPL News and Notes As FC Edmonton’s new assistant coach, Fleming looks forward to finally being part of a “home” game

As FC Edmonton’s new assistant coach, Fleming looks forward to finally being part of a “home” game

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Sean Fleming spent two decades coaching in the Canada Soccer ranks, leading various youth teams through camps, friendlies, CONCACAF championships and World Cups.

But, in those years, he never knew what it was like to play a true home game. The demands of being in the national program meant that he was often far, far away from his Edmonton home.

So, when the Canadian Premier League kicks off in 2019, and FC Edmonton has its first home match of the campaign, Fleming, will have a homecoming of sorts.

“Throughout my coaching career, I had over 200 youth internationals and I never had a home game,” Fleming said. “It will be an interesting to feeling to finally have a home game.”

Fleming was announced as the assistant to coach Jeff Paulus and FCE Academy technical director on Tuesday night.

Fleming had been working with FCE’s academy after leaving his post at Canada Soccer, so his appointment won’t come as a complete surprise to many. But, he didn’t really start speaking with Paulus about working together in 2019 until after Paulus was confirmed as FCE’s coach.

“Until Jeff knew that he was going to be the head coach, it was moot point to discuss anything else,” said Fleming. “Once that was set, I had to give Jeff time to settle in.”

On the first-team side, Fleming’s focus will be on looking at the opposition and using that information to help with game preparation. He will also coach the U-21 side.

And, of course, Fleming is pretty close with the fraternity of coaches who have been named for the CanPL. He and Valour FC coach both worked together in helping nurture Canadian youth players.

“It is going to be pretty competitive, everyone is going to do what is best for their squads,” said Fleming. “But, at the same time there’s a lot of respect between the coaching fraternity. Really, it’s the same around the world, there is a coaching fraternity. Yes, you all want to to what’s best for your teams, but you’re also all working to do what’s best for the game, as well.”

And, could some of the players Fleming coached in the national youth system appear in FCE kits sometime soon?

“Possibly. Some of my former players have been calling me, asking me what the league is going to be about. A lot of the players I had are toiling in Europe, they’re trying to make a career of it. But it’s very hard. There are some great players there who could have opportunities here.”

 

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