Northern Storm first grade coach, Danny Milliken with first grader Lee Winkler and president Brian Davies.
Northern Storm first grade coach, Danny Milliken with first grader Lee Winkler and president Brian Davies.

Danny stays with Storm

WHEN football coach Danny Milliken arrived in Coffs Harbour a year ago he knew it wasn't going to be easy.

After leaving England following a career any football player would die for, the game is something he lives and breathes.

Having trialled with Tottenham Hotspur as a young boy and then having a long semi pro career in England, coaching was always going to be the next step.

He started coaching eight years ago after serious injury ended his playing career.

He then decided to do his coaching badges and in the following years he found himself a dream job at a Sports College with a Football School of Excellence.

Danny said the college was a brilliant experience, working with and alongside Fred Donnelly (Arsenal women's first team coach), Steve Castle (ex-Birmingham City) and Chris Zoricich (ex-Brisbane and New Zealand captain).

"I learnt more about coaching from those people than any course could ever give you, nothing beats experience," he said.

Leaving his job was a tough decision, but moving to Australia is something Danny and his wife Paula always wanted to do, live the Aussie lifestyle, but they didn't know that a year on they would have another tough decision to make.

"It's great living the Coffs lifestyle, but I've been in and out of work since we got here and there doesn't seem to be much of a call for football Academy coaches in Coffs," he said.

So when he applied for a coaching job in Sydney, he never knew the problems it would cause.

"I applied for a coaching job with a team in the NSW state league, went down for an interview and had to put on a session for half an hour," he said.

A week later they rang back and offered him the first team coaching job.

"They told me I'd got the job ahead of 22 other coaches and when could I start," he said.

"I went back down to Sydney on two occasions looking for rental properties and schools, but due to unforeseen circumstances it just wasn't going to happen.

"It would've been a great challenge, the NSW State League is a decent standard of football and some very good players have tasted state league football.

"You only have to look at today's Socceroos and see how many of them played in it and have gone on to play professionally in Europe."

It looks like Northern Storm are the lucky recipients of Danny's services for this season.

"I coached Storm last season and although it's not the greatest standard I've ever coached, they're a great bunch of lads who want to learn and never stop asking questions which is brilliant - they're enthusiastic," he said.

"Their president Don Riley has some good ideas for the upcoming season, including win incentives, which should put the cat among the pigeons with the players around the Coffs area.

"We've also got new sponsors in The Plantation Hotel and Kerry Albert & Co. and the players will receive an Empire Gym membership.

"So at the moment everything's looking good. As for regrets in not going to Sydney, I'll tell you at the end of this season."

Northern Storm's first training/ sign-on is at Jetty Beach, meet at the Jetty February 2, 5.30pm.

Old and new players are welcome and only need to Phone Danny on 0422 759 787 to be part of the new experience - KERRY ALBERT.

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