Robinson To Lead Coast Recreation Program
Coast FA is pleased to welcome Neal “Robbo” Robinson as our Director of Recreation, effective immediately. Neal is an England native born in Hull, East Yorkshire. His addition will bring our number of full time staff to six, and set the table for sustained growth in all Coast programs. Robinson will concentrate his efforts on player identification for select teams and all aspects of our McDonald’s Rec Leagues at Socastee, Pawleys Island and Carolina Forest.
“Robo has been a consistent presence in the local soccer community for many years with the YMCA and Beach United. He and our Director of Coaching Joel Banta were teammates at Coastal Carolina, so we are all very familiar with one another. We are over the moon to have Neal take on a leadership role with Coast. His extensive background and experience will allow us to take our rec leagues to the next level. We are excited to integrate his ideas and vision into our club,” said Coast Executive Director Heyward Gulledge.
Director of Coaching Joel Banta added, “Bringing in Neal to take over the rec league will remove administrative duties for Coach RJ Bass and Coach Vinnie De La Cueva and allow them to concentrate on player development, community outreach programming and their technical training program, Palmetto Select. Vinnie and RJ are young guys whose passion is coaching and working hands-on with the kids.”
“After several years in the social services and programs in the nonprofit sector, it is exciting to have the chance to return to my lifelong passion of soccer in a full-time role within the multi-level soccer organization of Coast FA. I am thankful for the opportunity afforded to me by Coast FA and extremely excited to partake in the future plans for the organization in bringing greater opportunity for girls and boys of all ages and levels within the game of soccer. The “grass-roots” game has always been close to my heart and accompanied with the knowledge of how fundamental such a program can be in the lives of our youth today. After experiencing a family tragedy early in my in childhood, my introduction to soccer came at a delayed age of 9 years old. I credit my first coach, Jon McKenzie (in England), for giving me a start in the game against the odds. Early on, he gave me a chance to identify with a passion, build my confidence and develop some self-belief. Long term, I have enjoyed many great experiences and roles in the game as a player, coach, official and administrator. If I can benefit from the fruits of labor in soccer, then I believe many others can do the same, and more. This is what drives me to give back to the game,” said Robinson.