In today’s episode, James speaks with Niall Quinn, an Irish former professional footballer who played top-flight football for Arsenal, Manchester City, and Sunderland. With 92 caps, Niall stands as Ireland’s second-highest goalscorer of all time. He has also served as a football manager, sports television pundit at Sky Sports for over a decade, and as an interim Deputy CEO of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
With many accomplishments to his name, he is also the founder and president of Team Taca, a private podcast that collaborates with youth soccer clubs to produce world-class private and localised club podcasts, offering content that educates, inspires, and empowers the next generation of youth athletes. Niall and James dissect the pay-to-play model dominating U.S. soccer landscapes, scrutinising its impact on the sport’s evolution while emphasising how mindful communication through podcasting can greatly influence the mental health and overall well-being of young athletes.
In a nutshell, they speak about:
- The dynamics of the modern business side of sports
- The challenging pattern he observed in clubs and his strategy to alleviate tension with fee-paying parents
- How they implement their model to serve both children and their parents
- Insights on how to handle situations where your child’s performance may not have shined brightly
- Notable professional footballers who emerged from their youth teams
- The importance of instilling work ethics in young players
- How they aim to inspire, empower, educate, and cultivate good habits in youth athletes for only 50 cents per podcast per kid
…and so much more!