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Talking GRFC coaching change with Matt Roberts

Earlier this week, Grand Rapids Futbol Club announced that Women’s team boss Lewis Robinson would take over the helm of the Men’s team after leading his squad to the United Women’s Soccer League playoffs in the team’s first season.

On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of discussing the move with GRFC President Matt Roberts.

What was the process of looking for a new coach like?

It was much more stressful than we thought it would be.  You never want to make a change if you don’t have to but we thought it was the right time to take the club in a new direction and we wanted someone at the top we felt could do that.

We’re sure there were numerous candidates for the position, how did you decide on Robinson?

Yes, we had several coaches reach out and we spoke with a few we knew as well.  It was pretty clear early on that Lewis was the right man for the job but we wanted to look around and see what was out there as well.

What was the key to Coach Robinson being offered the Men’s job?

Lewis has a great track record of building teams from the ground up and has the ties to college coaches we were looking for that would enable us to recruit a stronger team.

How did the team react when told?

I think there was a bit of shock when we told them we  are making a change but when they heard Lewis was taking over the overwhelming sentiment was they loved the choice.

What changes might fans expect from a strategy standpoint?

That’s really more of a question for Lewis, but I think with the Women’s team last year you saw a strong identity of a group that kept the ball well and fought for each other.

Is there a plan in place when looking at a new Women’s coach? Looking locally? Regionally?

We will open up that job here in a few days to the public and see who applies.  We would like to have someone from here in West Michigan who knows the landscape but if a candidate from outside this area makes sense we will pull the trigger on the right coach that hits all the buttons.

Obviously, the team knew what they were looking for as it pertains to the future of GRFC soccer. You can get a sneak peek at what to expect during next season’s NPSL (National Premier Soccer League) schedule during Robinson’s first match, which will be held at 5/3rd Ballpark on October 14, 2017. The Boys in Blue take on La Raza All Stars to raise funds for local soccer enthusiast Rog Garner and the American Cancer Society.
Many thanks to President Roberts from the BeerCityHoopsFC team!
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