A Conversation With the ISU Soccer Coach – ISU Bengal Online

Posted: September 9, 2020 at 10:53 am


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Photo Courtesy of Idaho State Athletics

Joanna Orban

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Debs Brereton got her first soccer ball when she was two-years-old. Since then, its never left her feet. In Breretons native England, soccer very much was, and still is, a mans world. After playing soccer on all-male leagues for most of her life, Brereton started playing with a female league, oftentimes with girls that were older than her.

Eventually, her path led her to the United States and Northeastern State University. While there, Brereton was the most valuable player in 2003 and she still holds the record for the fastest goal.

After her time at Northeastern State, she played her 2004 season at Middle Tennessee State University, where she would later coach as a graduate assistant.

After her collegiate soccer career, Brereton played in the Premier Soccer League from 2006-10. She played for teams such as the Nashville Lady Blues, Hampton Road Piranhas and the San Diego Sunwaves. Eventually, however, she turned her attention to coaching.

Brereton loves coaching because it allows her to keep playing the game she loves but she also loves being able to interact with and help her players grow.

I get to serve people. I get to bring awesome people into the program and help those people develop into strong women and see those people graduate, Brereton said. It gives me an opportunity to teach them about life through the vehicle of soccer.

While serving as an associate coach at Ohio State University, Brereton was contacted by the Idaho State University Athletic Director Pauline Thiros and asked to come tour campus.

Once I arrived in Pocatello it was the end of the story. I love this place. I want to be a part of this family, Brereton said. The Bengal community is very unique, Ive never experienced anything like it.

Breretons second season at ISU is significantly different from her first. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the season has been pushed back until spring. According to Brereton, her players are disappointed with the season being pushed back.

Its just trying to make sure we stay in a positive mind frame, said Brereton.

Although the season has been pushed back, Brereton can see how it has been a blessing in disguise for the program.

The team that would have come out as Bengals in August to play our first game is not going to be the same team that will take the field in early of next year, Brereton said.

Due to the season being canceled, the team and the staff has had the opportunity to really integrate the new freshman players, as well as refine the way they want to play.

Another challenge the team is facing is a new practice space. Davis Field is currently under renovation which means the soccer team is sharing the Idaho Central Credit Union practice field with the football team. The practice field is made of turf, also known as artificial grass.

According to Brereton, the soccer ball moves faster on turf than it does on real grass, which has helped the girls improve their reaction times.

Even the surface were playing on is making us better on a daily basis, said Brereton.

Davis Field will be ready by the time the team starts their season, and the players wont have to worry about turf burn anymore.

Prior to the university shutting down in March, both Brereton and her team had another opportunity.

The ISU Theatre Department was working on a production of The Wolves, a play about a high school soccer team with an all-female cast.

The director of the play, Vanessa Ballam, reached out to Brereton and asked for her help in helping the actors learn more about soccer.

We would meet up once or twice a week where my players would take the cast through a warm-up and some basic soccer skills and teach them the basics, Brereton said. Its such a cool collaboration.

The Wolves opens September 18.

Breretons staff is made completely of women which is a different environment than the one she grew up with in England.

The incoming players and the returning players are surrounded by very strong, assertive females. Its unusual to have that at a Division 1 level, said Brereton. I feel as if the players live and see and breathe these mentors. They know on a daily basis what its like to see assertive, strong women in front of them. Its a womans job to empower other women and to help them get better. I feel like myself and my staff takes that very seriously. Its no longer a mans world.

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September 9th, 2020 at 10:53 am

Posted in Life Coaching