On Tuesday, the Breaker's secured their coach of the future, promoting assistant coach Tom Durkin to the team's top spot. Durkin coached beside center back Cat Whitehill during Boston's final two matches, helping the team to a crucial 1-0 win over FC Kansas City.
Before joining the Breakers, Durkin earned head coaching experience with several U.S. Soccer Development Academies, most recently with FC Bolts Celtic in Wagan, Mass. Durkin also served as head coach and general manager of Bradenton Academics, a USL Premier Development Team that, under Durkin's leadership, featured U.S. Internationals Michael Parkhurst, Heath Pearce and Aron Johannsson. The one-time Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) assistant coach amassed more than 100 wins during his coaching career with Bradenton Academics, leading the team to a pair of International Dallas Cup Championships.
For the Breakers, Durkin will provide experience across several tiers of American soccer, using his expertise in player development to walk beside the team's younger players. In June, GM Lee Billiard developed partnerships with ECNL (Elite Clubs National League), NPL (National Premier League) and WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) clubs; Durkin will undoubtedly benefit this system, working to generate a talented future in Boston.
What They're Saying...
Breakers' GM Lee Billiard publicly supported Durkin's promotion, speaking highly of his experience and tactical strengths. "After interacting with [Tom] over the final two weeks of the regular season and watching him work, I know we have a top quality coach here in Boston. I am confident Tom will take the team where we want it to be and develop the players we have in our squad. We had some very strong candidates apply for the position, but with Tom's long résumé as a head coach at all levels and listening to his philosophy, I knew he was the right man for the Breakers job."
Following Billiard's praise, Durkin provided a personal response to his new role. "I am very excited about working with the Boston Breakers this coming season. I thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with the team at the end of last season. The group of professionals that I encountered is talented and versatile and their work habits and eagerness put me at ease straight off."
Durkin continued to comment on the state of his team. "I also must admit that I was quite impressed by the standard of play and caliber of players. I found these ladies to be excellent role models and ambassadors for their sport and league. The willingness to go above and beyond to see the league and the sport flourish in the U.S. was compelling, and I am proud to be part of it. I want to thank Lee Billiard and the management team for this opportunity to be part of the Breakers organization, and I am pleased that I can make a contribution to the area's soccer community."
Billiard concluded with confident support of his new head coach. "[Tom] will slot into our organization perfectly, on and off the field," Billiard said. "And he will also take part in the growth of our youth academy program."