Anthony Nixon earns his Academy Director license
Bergen County, NJ - As of 2019 Anthony Nixon is one of the youngest people in the nation to ever earn their Academy Director License.
He started at Princeton Soccer Association as the Director of Youth Development but Anthony was looking to coach a higher level of athletes and growth in his career. He soon did that when he joined the Cedar Stars Academy family as the coach of ‘03/04 green and 05/06 Neymar team in 2014. Anthony joined CSA because their standards aligned with his vison on top of having great resources. But it wasn’t smooth sailings at first “my first team only won one game in the fall when I first got here, I think everyone wanted me fired- eventually we went on to become state and regional champions”.
After seeing his victories and potential, he was promoted as coach of the U14 Boys DA team. In 2016 Anthony became the Interim Director of Coaching, after a year he was promoted to Academy Director in 2017. “It was a blank slate- the club grew and I grew with the club, it was a win- win for both, it was good for me because the owner let me get on with what we needed to do, with his input, but there was real good support there.” When asked what made you want to become a director he responded “it wasn’t my main goal, I kind of acquired the role when people left but when the opportunity came I stepped up and the rest is history”. But “The brightest thing about being a director now, is to watch a kid start at 5/6 years old and see the evolution of that player and now they’re 15 playing in the DA against the top clubs in the country. We’ve done a good job with these lads on and off of the field”.
Anthony’s path started when growing up in Liverpool, England; he was surrounded by soccer his entire life. His dad was a coach and if he wasn’t watching him coach, he was either watching his siblings play or he was out on the field himself.
“Everything was revolved around the game…” and this is where his passion for soccer came into fruition.
At the age of 14 Nixon acquired his first coaching job as assistant coach for TMS, 18 years later he is now one of only 60 other people in the nation that hold an Academy Directors License. This program can only be attended by an invitation. USSOCCER saw potential in Nixon and recommended him to the program, this is where Nixon’s path to earning his Academy Director License began.
The program was over the span of 12 months, with 7 course meetings which could range between 5-7 days (each meeting) across the world, such as Kansas, Madrid, Bilbao, Florida, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and California.
All of this on top of having an average 70-hour work week, it wasn’t an easy path said Anthony, “good support helped me through it- a lot of things have to be sacrificed-this is what we’re invested in; it’s difficult missing time at home, being in this job you miss out on a lot of family time. But I wouldn’t change anything, I would like to thank all the staff that were here and the higher ups of the club for all the support, they’re second to none, not only in the last year, but since I’ve been here. They’ve always been there if I ever need help or anything like that- they’re my family”.
Through his hard work and dedication Anthony was able to overcome his obstacles and achieve his Academy Director License in 2019, making him one of the youngest people to ever earn this certification.
When asked if he had any pointers for the generation behind him, if they want to follow in his footsteps and he said” you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot, to get to where you want to get to. You have to work hard, work hard with quality; you could work hard with bad quality but that doesn’t cut it; you need the drive to be the best”. “Where do we go from here?” “Personally it’s to keep trying to gain knowledge and experience that I can hopefully pass onto the club and the players that improve the club as a whole; we can always get better - with my license I believe I can implement a plan that can fulfill that dream. The ultimate goal is to be the best club in the country.”
Congratulations on your hard work and achievements, keep up the amazing job you’ve been doing here at Cedar Stars Academy.