VAST EXPERIENCE: Former A-League coach Mike Mulvey is keen to assist Western Pride players and coaches achieve their footballing goals.
VAST EXPERIENCE: Former A-League coach Mike Mulvey is keen to assist Western Pride players and coaches achieve their footballing goals. Jono Searle

A-League coach helping Ipswich benefits from highs, lows

HAVING experienced the highs and lows of A-League and international football, Western Pride recruit Mike Mulvey believes those challenges have made him a better person.

"Football is a difficult business to succeed in, particularly at the professional level,'' he said.

"It's quite cut-throat and I've experienced both ends of the spectrum.''

That includes guiding Brisbane Roar to a record-breaking third A-League title in front of 52,000 home crowd fans and working with the Young Matildas at the 2002 World Youth Cup in Canada.

His remarkable coaching career also had some setbacks like being sacked last season as head coach of the Central Coast Mariners. Part of that was having to manage the fastest man on Earth Usain Bolt during a challenging time at the Mariners.

However, through it all, the former A-League coach of the year has stayed true to what he rates the most satisfying part of being involved in sport - helping young players fulfil their goals.

"The most joy I've ever got out of football is seeing young kids come from early development to later development and reaching their pinnacle,'' Mulvey said.

"I've been able to see quite a number of young boys and young girls who have gone on to achieve their dreams.

"You don't want a pat on the back for that. It just means you've done your job properly and I enjoy seeing young kids really achieve.''

That's why the well-travelled Mulvey accepted the offer to become Western Pride's latest technical director, based at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

"I'm happy to see how I can help in any way,'' Mulvey said.

"To provide some feedback for the coaches and a framework for the players to, first of all, enjoy what they are doing and develop and reach their potential.''

Mulvey, 56, has many accomplishments as a coach since coming to Australia in 1982.

After a youth career with Manchester United, he worked with the Brisbane Lions from 1983-86 before what he considers a major stepping stone forged in Ipswich.

That was coaching the inaugural Ipswich Knights side to the 1998 finals after the Coalstars and St Helens clubs merged.

Mulvey secured a full-time position at the Queensland Academy of Sport the following season.

Twenty years later, Mulvey sees joining Western Pride as a chance to build on past opportunities and be closer to home.

"I worked at the Queensland Academy of Sport for 10 years,'' he said.

"I enjoyed my time there immensely. It was the best learning environment anyone could ever hope for.

"If I can provide something of what I've learnt there to the coaches of Western Pride and the players then I'll be happy.''

Western Pride's new technical director hopes to build on his strong South East Queensland ties in the past.

"Football is a growing sport, particularly for females with the success of the Matildas over the last few years,'' he said.

"The program that Western Pride is geared to providing for all young players, and particularly the females, that can grow. There's no doubt about that.

"Looking for the next young player that can come through the system at Western Pride.

"All parents out there are looking at how can I provide my children, my kids, with the best opportunity to succeed.

"If I can help in any way, shape or form with Western Pride and all of Ipswich, then I'll be very, very happy at the end of the day.''

As for working with Bolt during his previous A-League stint with the Mariners, Mulvey said that was another chapter in his eventful football journey.

"He's a fantastic person and an athlete,'' Mulvey said.

"He was at a point in time and I was in a point of time when we met. It didn't quite work out for him but it was a great experience for him and football.''