Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8722 6318
Former Sutton United man prepares for a shot at the MLS
The Telfer family is bound for America, and Paul Telfer will be beginning a new journey, bound for the Major Soccer League.
Telfer stepped down as first team coach of Sutton United last month to take up the new challenge of coaching Indy 11, a new US franchise outfit, based in Indianapolis.
The club was formed last year, and will take its professional bow in the North American Soccer League when the new season starts on next week.
Although Telfer, who has more than 300 Premier League appearances to his name, is entering the unknown, he has an old friend guiding the way.
“While I was playing for Luton Town in the early 90s, a US international came joined us called Juergen Sommer,” Telfer said.
“We ended up sharing a house for a year and we became very good friends.
“We happened to bump into each other recently and he’d been made head coach of Indy 11.
“He invited me over to a training camp in Arizona and then offered me a coaching role.”
He added: “It’s an odd scenario where a club had been built up from scratch, but so much interest has been generated already.
“They have sold almost 8,000 season tickets before a ball has even been kicked, and I am getting phone calls from players in the UK asking if they can come out.”
Indy 11 – named not only for the 11 men of a football team, but also after Indiana's 11th Regiment Indiana Infantry in the American Civil War – are due to apply the MLS by 2016, meaning Telfer could soon be locking horns with David Beckham’s Miami-based outfit.
But Telfer insists he and his wife are not a non-League version of Posh and Becks, and he is interested purely in the football side of life in America.
He said: “Football in America is played on the ground a lot because the pitches are so good.
“I know from my time with Sutton that some pitches you arrive at, you know there will not be much one touch football.
“But in America it is a more continental style of football, more akin to a World Cup, with plenty of passing it around the back, before the tempo picks up.”
He added: “But what has surprised me is that US football is a lot more physical, the referees let a lot more go. It might because of the American football link, but I thought it would be a lot more tippy-tappy.”
It is not only have the facilities and potential for success that have lured Telfer across the pond, but also the promise of a better life for his family – albeit temporarily.
The family will relocate to Carmel – a city famed for many things, including being the roundabout capital of American with more than 80 of the circular intersections.
Telfer said: “Carmel was voted the best place to live in America in 2012 by CNN Money magazine, and that has to be part of the attraction.
“The schools are superb, the crime rate is the lowest in the country and the houses are excellent. It is a family place.
“Jueregn and his family live there, and we are all very good friends.”
He added: “When I was doing my coaching degree many years ago I spent some time in America and had always decided that if I did not make it as a professional footballer, I’d return and take up a coaching role at a university.
“I never thought I would be returning in a professional capacity, coaching a team that could be in the MLS.”
Comments are closed on this article.