Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

April 26, 2014

GLASGOW SOCCER: Mahung takes reins

New coach brings Dutch style

GLASGOW — Ken Mahung has a wealth of soccer coaching and playing experience to bring to the Glasgow boys’ soccer program.

Mahung, who moved with his family from Chicago to Glasgow last year, coached the Barren County girls’ program in 2013. He said he previously coached at Roycemore School in Evanston, Ill., for 12 years and has coached travel soccer teams and adult league teams.

“I’ve been coaching soccer now for 20 years. My wife and I had our own traveling club in Chicago,” he said during a telephone interview Friday.

Mahung was officially approved Monday by the Glasgow Independent Schools District Board of Education to take on the Glasgow program.

Growing up in Belize, a Central American nation on the west coast of the isthmus, Mahung said soccer — football as it is know outside the United States — is the sport everyone plays.

“It is the big sport …,” he said. “When it comes to a sport that is affordable, it is hard to beat. All you need is a ball. The gender doesn’t matter, boys and girls can play. It’s about the only sport where you are always moving. You use every part of your body, except your hands, unless you are the goalie. Almost anybody can play it. It’s an easy way to develop friendships.”

Those qualities of the game are what make it so popular, Mahung said.

The Glasgow coach said he developed his coaching philosophy through years of playing and coaching. He played professionally in Belize and Mexico, he said, and played for his nation’s national team.

“We played more long ball, English-style, in Belize and then also in Mexico,” Mahung said. “Then I had a German coach who introduced me to total football, or the Dutch system. It builds skills in the individual based on repetition and real-game activity that takes place on the field. If you watch us work out, there is never anyone standing around.”

He said that approach builds stronger teams and stronger individual player skills, but success first comes from attitude.

“Your skill doesn’t matter as much as your attitude,” Mahung said. “It’s nice to see the boys are willing to learn something new because they want to do well.”

The coach said the 20 or so players who have come to spring workouts are buying into the new system as are the assistant coaches who are still on the staff from the 2013 season.

“Coach Bruce Leeson and coach Justin Kirkpatrick are a big help because they are accepting of the change. It’s nice for them to be open to something new,” Mahung said.

The Scotties finished the 2013 season 9-9-2 under Joe Mercer. The team lost six seniors, including its goalie and top goal scorer.

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Barren County vs. Glasgow

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