It is not often that one strikes gold when hiring a recreation leader or sports coach. There are so many factors: do the kids and parents like him, can he handle the kids and discipline when necessary, does he have a good work ethic, and does he really know how to keep the players on task in order to compete? But in the case of one soccer coach hired last year, one could say the City scored platinum! Not only does he know soccer, he trains the walking club and referees Bocce. All of that takes no small amount of patience, compassion and a killer sense of humor.
Meet Jermaine Barclay, certified American Soccer Association coach, born and raised in Harbor View, Jamaica. He began playing soccer (or football as they say there) when he was 10. One of his favorite childhood memories is when his Harbor View under 14 team went 20-0 for the season. He continued to play and as his skills increased, he played club soccer for Masters FC and eventually was chosen to play for the Jamaican National U17 Team.
He came to South Florida when he was 17. He continued his schooling and was enrolled in UM studying sports medicine. He left school to pursue the opportunity to play pro ball with Real Maryland F.C. in Baltimore. Upon returning to South Florida, Jermaine became interested in coaching in 2009. He is also certified as a soccer coach by the National Federation of State High School Associations. He first coached the Miramar Lions and when a better opportunity presented itself, he applied to Sunny Isles Beach in 2014. He does not have a preference for any particular age, and finds coaching children a challenge at times, “…but at the end of the day, the effort to reach their goal is met [by the players].”
His experience with the adult programs this year was enlightening to him in many ways, particularly the effects of aging. He enjoyed “watching the improvement of these senior adults in getting stronger…” and also was very entertained by the “extremely competitive bocce league….I’ll gladly take part in this event every year!”
Interestingly, Jermaine has also coached basketball, track & field and netball (you Europeans may know that one). Of course soccer is his passion and he continues to play in recreation soccer leagues. In his spare time, he also enjoys cooking, jogging (to burn off the cooking), taking his dog to the park and mentoring kids in the church youth group. He plans to continue his sports medicine studies in the fall of 2015.
If you see Jermaine around the sports fields, be sure to make his acquaintance. It will brighten your day. As one member of the walking club said, “This session is the best yet with Jermaine. It is so much more than just walking. I have learned so much and feel great.”
For any questions about the soccer or other athletic programs which are offered in Sunny Isles Beach, call 305-792-1706 and ask to speak to the Athletics Department.