• Josh Schneider-Weiler

Interview with Jess Ibrom: Football in the South Pacific & Building Academies From Scratch

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Today our guest is coach Jess Ibrom. Ibrom has experience working all around the world at the youth level over the last two decades.

Interview with Jess Ibrom

He started his career in the US before moving back to England. After that, he was the Head of International Academy Recruitment for the Houston Dynamo of MLS and then went to go work at one of Chelsea's academies in New Zealand. He then took on the challenge of building the academy of the Wellington Phoenix of the Australian A-League and finally his most recent position was the Technical Director of The Cook Islands.

You'll also here Jess talk about how to build an academy from the ground up, how he recruited young Mexicans and Koreans to play in New Zealand, why most academies fail and managing expectations in young players and their parents.

Listen Here


6:05 Lessons from coaching in the US

14:48 Academy building from across the world

23:38 Becoming a Cook Islander

31:27 How to entice Mexicans to play in New Zealand

43:41 Managing expectations in young players

54:10 Coaching opportunities for British Expats in England


  • "I'm a firm believer in life, if you don't ask, what do you expect? The opportunities aren't probably going to present themselves"

  • "Wherever I've gone, you have to buy into what the culture is all about"

"Because the island's so small…I would laugh, I got 14,000 stalkers"
  • "I think that you have to respect the culture. I said to someone recently, I was only a blip on the Cook Island FA history."

  • "The desire was just incredible to be honest. Just to experience it was superb for me."

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