Tom Ovenden "Tommo"

Tom Ovenden_Hotspurs- SC

Hotspurs Role:  Hotspurs Academy Director, College Prep Phase Coach, Women's First Team Coach

Coach Tommo moved to America in 2007, securing a job for Major League Soccer Camps & Training.  This role brought him to Pittsburgh.

Tom got his first coaching license at 17 while at Yeovil Town FC and has been coaching ever since.

Tom played at Liverpool John Moores University First Team, semi-pro level in the UK for Colwyn Bay FC and at the youth level for Yeovil Town FC before a serious knee injury ended his ability to train and play regularly.

Coaching Qualifications:

  • NSCAA National Diploma
  • FA Level 2 Certificate
  • Level 1 Street Soccer
  • Sports Science Degree - Liverpool John Moores University

Relevant Experience:

  • Youth Club Coach
  • Semi-Pro Player for Colwyn Bay FC
  • First Team Liverpool John Moores University Starter
  • Yeovil Town FC - U16-U18

Start in soccer:

The first time I ever played 'soccer' was at Huish Primary School. Someone suggested we play our own game away from the big kids at recess. I remember playing it and being totally and utterly encapsulated with the game. I had never had so much fun.  I was completely ignited for that game.

From there, school was the main place to play as much as we could -- before school for 30 mins, at break for 15 mins, then lunch for 1 hour. Then, even if we could, we played afterschool. I could not get enough of the game but because my parents were not really football lovers, I did not find my way into organized football until U12 because we literally did not know it existed.

When I found out that the game I played at Huish was actually a proper thing, I was blown away.  From then on, it was all football.

Inspiration to coach:

A local coach needed some Level 2 coaches, so at 17 years old, I went to sit the Level 2 training.

To be completely honest, I did not have very strong coaching at any level that I played.  The main person who always encouraged me to get into coaching was my Dad. He is a great leader and someone that I have always looked up to. And although not a football guy, he is a people person and  helped shape my perspective and the way I coach.

Favorite part of coaching soccer:

The best thing about football is that all you need is a ball to play. It speaks so many languages and pick up games can be literally the greatest thing in life if all the conditions are right.

If you are tall you have a benefit to soccer or if you are small you also have advantages. That is one of the main reasons why it's the greatest sport out there. Anyone and everyone can be the best if they really want to be.

Favorite player/team:

Yeovil Town FC are my favorite team. My favorite player is Jay Jay Okcoha. I remember watching his roll over-step over in the World Cup against Denmark and going out into the garden to practice it. Anyone with flair like that is the best to me.

When not coaching soccer:

I love to play golf, although I am toilet at it...