SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 14, 2014

Flaherty named new boys soccer coach at Bishop Fenwick

By Jean DePlacido
Correspondent

---- — Bishop Fenwick athletic director David Woods announced that Stephen Flaherty has been hired to take over the boys’ soccer program.

Flaherty, who was born and raised in Ireland, came to this country in 1986. He has lived in Peabody for the past 15 years.

“I was offered the job and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Flaherty, who has a lot of coaching experience. “It was a .500 program this past season and we lost nine seniors, but there are a lot of young guys coming up.

“I don’t have a set coaching philosophy, but usually go with whatever the strength is and build on that. Team strength will determine how we play, but one thing I firmly believe in is if you hold onto the ball a lot, the other team doesn’t score.”

Flaherty met with the Crusaders’ captains and told them that success on the pitch is the same as it is in the classroom.

“I met with the captains, and told them success on the soccer field is the same as in the classroom,” Flaherty said. “Hard work is rewarded. One of them told me they do play soccer in the league during the summer which is a good thing because the more you play, the better you become.”

Flaherty plans to meet with the rest of the team as soon as possible. Many play other sports in the spring which makes it difficult to get them all together. He will outline what he wants them to work on during the summer.

“The work starts now, not two weeks before the season begins,” he said. “We have a nice core group returning, and the players I met are very respectful. It’s going to be fun.”

Flaherty has been involved in youth soccer in Danvers and Peabody. He also coaches the U-15 Aztec girls club team. Last year he coached the junior varsity and helped at the varsity level for the Austin Prep girls. He also has prior experience working with the North Shore Tech girls’ teams. He was the boys’ JV coach at Governor’s Academy and spent one season as a varsity coach.

“It doesn’t really matter if you’re coaching girls or boys; it’s the same game,” he said. “I’m addicted to soccer, and love to watch games. The bottom line is you get out of it what you put in. I was raised with the game from the time I was a young boy able to run around and kick the ball. We called it football in Ireland.

“One of the things I feel we should pay more attention to is the JV team because that is the foundation and future of any program. My goal is to help the players along and make them better. I’m always emphasizing the positives and not dwelling on the negatives. We have a beautiful field to play on and a great athletic complex at Bishop Fenwick.”