CHICAGO (April 27, 2017) – Eclipse Select Soccer Club welcomes in two new coaches to its staff starting in 2017-18. James Callan has been named the Eclipse Select Director of U-8 to U-10 East and Mark McNellis will be Eclipse Select East Coach.
McNellis and Callan have a wealth of former playing and coaching experience and have spent their recent years at United Soccer Academy, with Callan serving as the director of coaching since 2012 and McNellis as senior coach since 2011. Both will begin their Eclipse Select responsibilities this fall.
Callan grew up in Peru and moved to the U.S. in 1994. A former player at Amundsen High School in Chicago’s North Side and the NAIA’s St. Xavier University, Callan started coaching back in 2000 and has preached the messaging of fundamentals and hard work to his players.
“I value the fundamentals of the game of soccer,” Callan said. “I’ve been playing since I can’t remember. I value the team concept and working hard, and that’s something I get satisfaction from seeing from the younger kids as a coach. It’s about working hard and concentrating on what they need to do. I treat players firmly and they are not only valuable to me as a coach but valuable to the team as well. That’s the main thing for me is for them to compete successfully, while also having fun.”
Callan, who holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “D” Coaching License, sees the move to Eclipse Select as a new test to undertake.
“I’m very excited about it,” Callan said. “I have helped develop players over the past 10 years, and this will be a challenge for me as a coach.”
McNellis has been a fixture in the Chicagoland soccer community for many years. He is a former all-state athlete at Hinsdale South High School, where he is the program’s all-time goal scoring leader. McNellis was part of DePaul University’s soccer team from 1991-93, and it was during his collegiate playing days when he was drawn to the impact of the coaching realm both on and off the field.
“You want to have a positive impact on the kids – it’s not just about soccer; it’s about the lessons in life,” McNellis said. “Soccer obviously teaches them important lessons that they can learn to become successful people in life, as adults. That’s the way I look at it. I want them to not only be the best soccer player they can be, but also the best people they can be.”
McNellis holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “D” Coaching License. His previous coaching includes a decade-long stretch at his alma mater Hinsdale South from 1998-2008.
“I bring a lot of passion, a lot of energy, and I know the game very well,” McNellis said. “I’m a big believer in being very fit and being fundamentally and technically sound. I believe in ball possession, which is very important. Kicking and chasing is not going to cut it.
“So I’m excited about this new opportunity with a new club that is well-respected. I’m looking forward to it.”