BY EMMA RYAN
Donegal woman Dolores Deasley is making a name for herself in the states. The former Irish soccer international is currently shaping the football careers of Jones County Junior College ladies team. Dolores currently holds the position of the Women’s Head Soccer Coach.
Growing up,the Drumkeen native played football in the Donegal schoolboy’s league and was selected for the U-16 Irish squad.
15 years ago, she received a soccer scholarship and graduated from college in New York before becoming a graduate assistant coach at a college in Mississippi. While in this position, Dolores completed her master’s degree and worked as an assistant coach.
Dolores then moved her way up and is currently the head coach at JCJC. While in this position, Dolores recruits the best players from her region and works with the team to ensure they are successful not only on the field, but also in the classroom and in their communities.
College football is extremely competitive in America as colleges provide multiple opportunities for talented footballers. The opportunities provided in America have vast differences compared to those in Ireland.
“The biggest difference is probably the opportunities provided based on so many young girls enrolling to play soccer in the States. This is mostly due to the successes of the US women’s national team.
“Every young girl wants to be the next Alex Morgan or Abby Wambach so there is huge interest and lots of different avenues for females to get involved in the game.
“Another big difference is how college athletics in America takes sports so seriously. College sports are big business so there is a real professional approach as far as training and development goes. This of course then creates more avenues for female soccer players to keep playing while in college and creates scholarship opportunities. It also creates opportunities for people like myself to be involved as coaches,” said Dolores.
Apart from a successful coaching career, Dolores has come a long way from playing Donegal Schoolboy League football in Drumkeen. Dolores played college soccer in the States at Hofstra University for four years and was also in the Irish International squad for 10 years.
“My most outstanding memorable moment was probably playing against the US at Foxboro stadium in 1999 in front of 32,000. I was only 18 at the time so that was pretty special. It was after the US had just won the women’s world cup and they were doing their victory tour in the States. They requested to play Ireland as their first game so the crowd was electrifying.”
The expedition will begin in February next year when Justin Toner and the team fly into the Canadian Arctic.