21.04.20 "Swieqi United is Special and Unique" - Coach Glendon Refalo
Glendon Refalo is no stranger to those at Swieqi United FC. One of the cornerstones of the Men's Senior Squad during its formative years, Refalo is one of a handful of players who has played over 100 games for the club in all competitions. Recently, he has turned his attentions to coaching our youngsters and being part of the project that aims to raise the individuals of tomorrow emanting from our club, proving to be a very popular coach among our youths at at Academy level. Swieqi United's media team sat down with Glendon in order to discuss player and coach development at the club.
SUFC: Swieqi United prides itself on ensuring that individual attention is given to both coaches and players. How important is this factor within the wider context of what the club is trying to achieve?
GR: This is crucial and it is what makes this club special and unique. The club empowers people with responsibilities and skills which can be applied to all aspects in life, not just football. This is supported through an individualized approach as everyone is different. The club is not the crest or colors, but it is the people working within the club. Therefore, understanding different personalities and taking an individualized approach maximizes each person’s potential and maintains our strong sense of community.
SUFC: Inasmuch as the club focuses on developing tomorrow's footballers, the environment is also values-driven. How do you, as a coach, seek to instill the proper work ethic in a youngster?
GR: I consider attitude as the foundation of every individual’s development. We ensure that we instill self belief and purpose in our players. A mantra that I like living for is that ‘the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary’.
We strive to drive our players forward and use their own benchmarks to do so. Aiming to become a better player than you were yesterday. This fuels our players with hunger and determination to improve. Lastly, I sincerely believe in leading by example and being prepared. It will be little to no use if we preach hard work to our players and do not give our best service to them day in, day out. Therefore, I do not compromise on the quality and effort I put in the development of our players.
SUFC: Finally, continuous education & development is fundamental for any coach. How do you go about broadening your knowledge and expertise? And is there good camaraderie among SUFC coaches?
GR: Despite the fundamentals remaining the same, Football is and has been an evolving game.
Remaining static and relying on your knowledge is a risky approach which can make your methods outdated. Apart from the courses I attend, I love to visit professional academies and stadiums to get a tangible feel of their operations and methods. Although admittedly I am not a fan of books, somehow I manage to keep myself curious and entertained reading footballer’s biographies.
There is great mutual respect between coaches at SUFC. We regularly share ideas and discuss different experiences which we learn from. It is always refreshing and entertaining to meet with like minded colleagues on and off the pitch!
Article: Michael Calleja
Photo credit: Jeffrick Cachia