By Ottawa Sports Pages, for Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club
The Nepean Hotspurs have a new look.
The club has brought on three experienced staff members to kickstart a new era of Hotspurs soccer focused on player development and high-quality coaching.
“It’s about each individual player’s journey,” underlines Shannon Holder, Nepean’s new general manager. “To make sure that we’re really doing something that creates soccer players for life.”
Holder was brought on last fall and has since been joined on the Hotspurs’ staff by technical director Adnan Paputcu and recreational programs coordinator and office administrator Jarrod Beattie. Together, the staff is “bringing back some of the passion” of Nepean soccer.
“We’re trying to return to a culture of Hotspurs,” Holder highlights. “We’re rebuilding not just in the office, but we’re rebuilding out on the field as well.”
Holder is well equipped to lead the charge. She tried lots of activities when she was young, including dance, gymnastics, and Girl Guides, but when she started playing with the Hotspurs at age six, soccer “stuck for me.”
Holder’s first experience coaching — and her first job — came with the Hotspurs. After working at the club for 10 years, she took a job managing the East Region Soccer League, but she couldn’t stay away from Nepean.
Holder has remained an active recreational coach with the Hotspurs for almost 20 years.
“The administrative side of sport, particularly in the not-for-profit sector, can be taxing and stressful,” notes the Queen’s University and Algonquin College grad. “Coaching, and continuing to play as I got older, reminded me why I love the sport so much. It kept me tied to the passion of it.”
The administrative side of the sport can be rewarding too, Holder adds, particularly when she visits the pitch to watch players in action.
“I was a part of that,” she tells herself. “I got those kids out there. I played a part in setting that up to make sure they had a game to play.”
As general manager, one of Holder’s priorities is making sure the Hotspurs have the best coaching possible – a strength for the club, which was recently officially certified as a Quality Soccer Provider by Canada Soccer.
Paputcu is key to that. He joined the Hotspurs more than 10 years ago and has coached at all levels. He holds a provincial B license from Ontario Soccer, a national B license and national youth license from Canada Soccer, and a goalkeeper coach diploma.
“He’s in here every day in the office, which I’ve never seen of a T.D. before,” Holder signals. “He’s very committed.”
Beattie will also be pivotal to the new vision of the club. The local soccer administration veteran supports the club in the office and also leads the Hotspurs’ recreational programs.
A past True Sport employee, Beattie brings vast grassroots experience to the Hotspurs, and numerous certifications including fundamental movement skills training.
“He has passion for the game,” Holder indicates. “Wanting to see the game grow is what really, I think, makes him a good fit.”
Alongside new hires, the Hotspurs are also launching new programming. The club is working towards bringing back summer camps and just launched a new advanced training program, which offers additional coaching for players already in recreational or competitive programs.
The club has also implemented a partnership with Ottawa Selects for high-performance training, allowing pro or near-pro players the chance to train and play when they’re off contract.
“Be prepared for the club to return to our roots and see us back in full force,” Holder concludes. “We’re growing, we’re doing it the right way, and our main focus remains providing quality soccer experiences.”
Find out more about the Nepean Hotspurs at NepeanHotspurs.ca.