Eclipse Select Soccer Club announced on April 10 that Dino Delevski would become the Eclipse Select Boys’ Director starting in 2017-18. It marks a significant addition to the club family as Eclipse Select’s development pool continues to grow in number and stature in the Chicagoland area.
EclipseSelect.org caught up with Delevski on his new role, which begins in August:
Q: Tell us about your previous Chicagoland coaching involvement, how this opportunity arose and your initial conversations with Eclipse Select President Rory Dames and the club.
Dino Delevski: “I didn’t know Rory personally beforehand, but I have known of him and his success in Chicagoland soccer. I got the opportunity to meet him, and throughout our conversations about putting something together, I felt very comfortable with the decision I made. So I’m looking forward to becoming part of an already established and strong staff and working together toward achieving something great on the boys’ side.
“As far as the Chicago soccer scene, the Chicago Inferno has done a great job in the last three years as establishing themselves as one of the top non-DA clubs, and the opportunity to work together [at Eclipse] came from the similarities and high standards implemented. What Eclipse has achieved on the girls’ side cannot be denied by anyone. I feel that I’m joining a group of staff that has already succeeded in achieving something great on the girls’ side, and I’m just hoping that I can contribute and help the growth on the boys’ side as well.”
Q: Are there any aspects of your coaching or approach to the game that you think connects closest to Eclipse Select’s ideology?
DD: “I enjoy the possession type of game. Coming to Eclipse, I want to establish this on the boys’ side and create a certain image that not only includes strong teams but also builds and contributes toward the culture already created on the girls’ side. When people talk about the teams and their success, they also talk about the quality of the performance, and that has always been my main focus. I’ve been fortunate to work with some very talented players in the past, and I’m confident that with my arrival at Eclipse and the outlets we create in regards to the competition opportunities and platforms, we are going to attract strong talent and earn that success.”
Q: You have simultaneously held coaching capacities in club and the professional realm with the indoor Chicago Mustangs. How do you envision your coaching responsibilities will change with Eclipse?
DD: “From the get-go, I’m entering into this as a full-time gig. I’m looking to be completely devoted to getting the program to where it needs to be. My primary focus right now and the task at hand is building the boys’ side within the Eclipse soccer program, and it will be more than a full-time job for me. I’m entering with an open mindset. I feel the biggest thing is to create a smooth transition, get acquainted with the already existing staff and create something that is going to set the foundation for success moving forward.
“The beginning is going to be tough, there’s no question about it, but I’m excited about it because I’m entering a name brand that is well established and stands for something great. I feel that I’m joining the club at a great time, and I’m really excited about entering this new venture.”
Q: Being a former professional player and then transitioning into coaching a while back, how gratifying is it for you to have this type of youth impact and role with Eclipse?
DD: “I was able to make an impact as a player, as far as the interaction with the people and the interaction with the fans and everything. When working with youth players, there is a very similar dynamic where there has to be a certain amount of trust that is earned from the youth and the players in order for you to make a difference on them. For me, it has felt really rewarding working with the youth players. It has felt rewarding to give back to the game and also make an impact on these young individuals in the same way that somebody else has made an impact on me previously when I was a younger player.
“As far as the opportunity with Eclipse and being able to come and join the club, to me, I’m entering it with an open mind. I’m coming to work with individuals who have already found success at the highest level of youth soccer. I’m always interested to see how they’ve operated and what they’ve done that has made them successful. You never say no to the opportunity of learning something new every day. That is why, for me, the excitement of being able to do something that I love to do and make an impact on the youth players is the No. 1 driving factor behind it. The opportunity to be surrounded with such great professionals, and be able to develop and progress even further within my coaching career is where the rest of the excitement follows.
“It’s a win-win situation, and I’m truly thankful to the Eclipse organization for giving me the opportunity.”