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Coach Claire Scanlan: Player Development and Going Pro

Claire Scanlan is the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at Temple University. Coach Scanlan is also a former midfielder for the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team. She played for clubs in the American W-League, the Japanese L. League, and the English FA Women’s Premier League. She then transitioned into coaching at Troy University and was on staff for the Republic of Ireland Women’s U-17 World Cup team. During the interview she will speak on what it was like playing at the highest level and why she transitioned into coaching. The interview will also cover the recruiting process for collegiate women’s soccer and the daily schedule of a coach. 

Coach Scanlan talks of the opportunities when she was a young athlete versus now: “There weren’t many opportunities when I started out. There weren’t many places to play.”

Related school rating: Temple University

When she started her soccer career, there weren’t teams or leagues in Ireland good enough to support her career. Fast forward: Ireland’s team has developed and Coach Scanlan has had the opportunity to both play and coach for the Republic of Ireland Women’s team. She says there is no “better honor than representing your country in any way.”

Coach Scanlan had to relocate many times to further her athletic career. In addition to playing in both Japan and the United Kingdom, she received her education while playing on Mercyhurst University’s DII soccer team. 

Related school rating: Mercyhurst University

She says the hardest part of the transition from college to professional soccer was the physical aspect. At the professional level, athletes are bigger, stronger, faster, and older, so she says just playing with them and practicing that physical aspect was the only way to adapt to the transition.

Coach Scanlan chuckles as she says about player development: “When you work on your weaknesses, suddenly you get better.”

She finishes with a rundown of her recruiting timeline and different perspectives on the scholarship structure for NCAA soccer teams.

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