Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Payne's Fury

Steve Payne
When Toronto Sun reporter Steve Payne became one of the many Sun Media cutback casualties in 2000, he must have thought it a dark day.

But oh so briefly. 

He would soon be living the dream.

Soccer, his life's passion next to his family, has since consumed his globe-trotting life and, as written in the Ottawa Citizen this week, his new field of dreams will be with the Ottawa Fury soccer club.

Payne, who has spent the past year of so coaching on the soccer fields of Australia, is the new head coach of the Ottawa Fury's Professional Development League team for the 2011 season.

He comes direct from a year as the technical director of the Football Federation of Tasmania. 

"The man is a soccer entertainer," the Citizen's Richard Starnes wrote this week. "If pressed a little, he will confess to be a subscriber to the old-school Brazilian philosophy that says if the opposition scores three goals, his team will score four."

The Ottawa Fury website announcement says: "We are delighted to have attracted a coach of Steve’s calibre to the Fury. Last year, we were one win shy of qualifying for the PDL North American Final Four.

"Taking us that next step will be Steve’s main challenge, but I am also sure he will have a very positive impact on all players and coaches within the Fury organization,” enthused Fury owner and CEO, John Pugh.

The club says Payne is "one the most highly qualified coaches in Canada," holding a UEFA Pro-Diploma, considered the highest award for coaching and managing in the world.

He is one of only two coaches in Canada to have completed that diploma – Canadian women’s head coach Carolina Morace being the other.

Payne also boasts UEFA A and Canadian B licences and having coached around the globe, with stops in North America, Europe, South America and Australia, he has also earned his Brazlian A licence and a FIFA Futuro III instructors licence.

“One thing I can promise both players and fans alike is that they will never be bored," Payne says in the club's online announcement. "We will play a technical, attacking, possession-based game in which the team will play from the back forward."

Born in England and raised on soccer, Payne might still be with the Toronto tabloid he loved had he not been pink-slipped.

But no doubt about it, he is more than thankful for being given the boot, so to speak. It landed him where he wants to be - on soccer fields and appreciated.

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