Name: Art Hallinan
Coach Hallinan learned soccer in the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and didn't get a chance to play organized sport until high school. In addition to coaching, he's still playing the game he loves at age 50.
Team(s) you are coaching: U12 Boys Silver
City where you live: Brooklyn, Wisconsin
City where you grew up: Dublin, Ireland. Just a little bit east of New York!
Q: What can you tell us about your soccer accomplishments?
I grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and my early soccer years were primarily spent playing soccer on the street, in the schoolyard, or in a nearby park with sweaters for goal posts. In high school, I began to play Gaelic football, which was my first exposure to "organized" sport. At U16, I traveled to London and represented my County (Dublin) on an All County team, which played in Wembly Stadium. That was exciting. The pitch was like playing on a putting green at a golf course. In my final two years in high school, I played both rugby and soccer. I also played some club soccer at this time in the Dublin and District Schoolboys League. In College, I played Gaelic football, rugby and soccer. I moved to the USA in 1995, and have been playing on a men's league since then. I am still playing the game at 50 years of age and enjoying every minute of it. I began coaching soccer 10 years ago, when my oldest son was just starting to play at the kindergarten level. I have loved every part of coaching. John Reddan instructed my first Y1 coaching course in Evansville. I also went on to get the National Youth license, and now I really love working for WYSA, instructing young parent volunteer coaches. It is very fulfilling to be able to help out novice coaches in this manner. Also, last year I earned a USSF C License.
Q: What is your earliest soccer memory?
My earliest soccer memory is playing soccer in the streets with my friends after school. We'd use the concrete pillars of the gates to our driveways for goal posts. In 1970, I was just 11 when the World Cup was in Mexico. We used to pretend we were Brazil and try to copy the moves we saw Pele, Jarzinho, Rivelinho and Tostao do on the "telly"(that means TV ? where I come from). Also, my friends and I would walk to school early because we always wanted to have a soccer game before school started. We'd play soccer every day and whenever we could.
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment on the soccer field?
Never was embarrassed playing soccer but it was comical once having to shoo sheep off the soccer field before we could play our game in Dundalk, Ireland. It was sure better than having to put up with the geese at the West Towne Fields!
Q: What's your favorite food?
Ah come on now, I'm Irish... corned beef and cabbage, of course! Only joking! Anything my wife makes and anything on the grill except maybe squirrel!
Q: What's your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with my wife - especially somewhere warm.
Q: Who is your hero?
First and foremost the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, I admire my father because he supported me in all my athletic and academic endeavors. Although he never watched a single game I played, that was okay, because that was the way it was in those days. Youth sports were for the kids, and not a spectator sport for adults. But he encouraged me all the way.
Q: What's the best part of coaching children?
Wow, that's a hard question, because there are so many great things that I have experienced over the past 10 years when coaching kids, from U5 all the way up to U18. They've taught me to "keep it simple" and "keep it moving." Building a love for the game so that they come back every year for more and that they play it or at least will be involved in it for a lifetime is why I enjoy coaching.
Q: What was your favorite class in grade school?
Math and science. I got my college degree in Math and Applied Physics. Then I ended up a painter and wallpaper hanger, but that's a story for another day!
Q: What's your dream job?
I love what I do now. I have my own painting and wallpapering business. If I had a "dream job," I would pursue it and not just dream about it.
Q: What's your greatest accomplishment?
I feel the greatest thing I ever did was to marry Rochelle, my wife. I don't know where I would be if I hadn't done that! Certainly not here in the USA, answering these questions, that's for sure. Some things I have accomplished include graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, with an Honours degree in Math and Physics. I also went on to graduate from a bible college in Scotland after completing a four-year Theology Degree, and now I continue to teach people the bible. Also, immigrating to the USA with my wife and three-month-old son was quite an accomplishment. And getting my USSF C license and National Youth License took a bit of effort, and I felt good after receiving those.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
What's Irish and stays out all night long? ... Paddy O'Furniture