Alex Dragan, last season’s Concordia Women’s soccer team captain, will be in familiar territory again when the season begins this Fall. Dragan will enter the 2015 season as a member of the coaching staff under the tutelage of head coach Jorge Sanchez.
“Her name sort of popped in my head [when considering coaches] but I wasn’t sure if it was something she would be interested in,” said coach Sanchez.
The Stingers, who were looking to bolster to their coaching staff for the upcoming season, approached Dragan with an offer she couldn’t refuse.
“I was thinking of it the whole summer,” Dragan said. “I heard that the previous assistant coach got a job in the States, [so I thought this would be a good opportunity]. I talked it over with my parents and my sister and decided that I was just going to do it!”
It is no wonder why Sanchez would want such a committed individual to join his team of coaches for the upcoming season. With a bachelor’s degree in biology under her belt, Dragan succeeded at all levels during her academic and athletic careers.
She was named a Stingers team most valuable player and a second team all RSEQ in her final season before graduation in the spring.
However, with such success comes hard work. “No one can question her work ethic,” said Sanchez. “Whether it was for school or for soccer, she [was] very focused on her tasks, on her goals. She has the profile of someone who can transition into a coach.”
For Dragan juggling school and sports was not a new hurdle to overcome as the former Stingers standout has been playing the game since she was four-years-old. However, the struggle of maintaining athletic and academic consistency could be a major issue. Dragan sees that as a major point of emphasis in her new role as the Stingers assistant coach.
“[I want to] help the girls transition, [especially] the rookies … not only in soccer, but in school as well,” said Dragan. Her ability to relate to the players is an intangible asset for the team looking to rebuild her absence. With 10 players set to graduate this year following the season, the program will need to rely on the strength of a solid coaching foundation to facilitate the transition.
“I’ve been there. You’re in residence and everything is new, and sometimes it’s really hard. School in the day, [followed by] soccer, and then … homework .You’re exhausted. That’s when things start getting a little hectic,” said Dragan, regarding the transition for freshmen student athletes.
As the regular season looms closer, Dragan’s credentials seem to be the perfect fit for the team. The majority of tactical decisions will obviously be left to the head coach. Nevertheless, Dragan’s invaluable insight will surely help the team achieve a very important goal; making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.