Once again I'm thrilled to be here for yet another great season at SHSGS. We had a great year in 2015, capturing our second SCC Championship in our fourth appearance in the SCC Championships in the last six years. Varsity went 14-3-3 and the JV/Freshman squads went an amazing 18-2-1 between them. A super season by any school's measure and certainly a record most schools would be happy to duplicate again the following season.
But this is Shelton, and in the words of John Ashcroft, one of our fine former staff members, "Why settle for good enough, when you know you can do better!" And that's where we started in our minds when we began leadership sessions in February. I've participated and watched as our captains, joined later by our returning players, forged the objectives that now define our 2016 mission. I saw them work hard to develop the 6 Pillars of Success that reflect the values important to the program this year. They created great energy amongst themselves as captains and I have seen that enthusiasm spread into all our players. The sense that we can have a very magical season is all around us and I'm proud to see our Gaelettes one by one make the solemn vow to commit and prepare themselves to make this magic happen. Yes, there is settling for anything here......we can and we know that we will do better in 2016.
I'm pleased that our coaching staff is equally charged for this mission. We have lofty goals for the varsity, JV and squads, but the coaches are certain these goals can be reached. We anticipate new depth in several positions, particularly at goalkeeper, and we have put together plans to ensure that remains one of our program strengths, as it was last year. We have a slew of veterans at varsity, so there should be no lack of leadership with 14 returning seniors. Our challenging pre-season fitness objectives are clear to Coach Picirillo and Coach Fowler, and those players who choose to participate in their summer conditioning program, will be ready to help us reach those goals. Our booster parents have been working hard behind the scenes and will ensure we have a great summer league offering for those choosing to participate and a fine camp at the end of the summer to get that last push into tryouts.
I hope you all are excited as the coaches are right now. We have defined the mission. We have set the path to prepare ourselves for the mission and some are already out there on the roads running and on the fields, working on those ball skills. Everyone is focusing on being the best version of themselves that they can be and with all that energy focused on just one thing, then there is little doubt that we will stamp MISSION ACCOMPLISHED across our mission banner when banquet comes!
2016 Gaelette Coaches
Coach Miller Coach Gil Coach Bell
- Varsity Coach
Coach Miller begins his 11th year as Head Coach of SHS Girls Soccer. During his tenure, the Gaelettes have posted a 117-50-24 record and have qualified nine times for the Class LL tournament, capturing the state championship in 2010. The Gaelettes have appeared in four SCC Championship games as well, winning it in 2010 and just last year in the 2015 season. He was selected in 2010 as Coach of the Year by the New Haven Register and the Connecticut Post newspapers. He has been twice been given the honor of coaching teams in the CGSCA's annual Senior Bowl game. Prior to coming to Shelton, Coach Miller spent 12 years as head coach of the Derby High girls program. During his tenure at Derby, his team was recognized in 1999 by the Greater New Haven Soccer Officials Association as that season's Mabel Peterson Sportsmanship Award winners. Coach also currently works with Shelton Youth Soccer and Shelton FC, coaching the current U11/U12 girls team and assisting with the U13 girls team. For the past 21 years he has served as Soccer Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Coach Miller's playing history includes long stints with several amateur clubs in Maryland, Colorado and Kentucky after his college days (so long ago!) at Montgomery and Bellarmine colleges. Coach Miller holds a US Soccer "C" License, the NSCAA National Goalkeeper and High School Diplomas, Coaching certification from the Dutch KNVB organization and a Bronze Level Certification from the International Coaching Association.
- Assistant Varsity Coach
Coach Gil begins his second season as our Varsity Assistant Coach. He played his high school soccer at Central High School in Bridgeport, making the varsity four consecion.utive years. He was a three year All-MBIAC player and made All-State twice in his career. He played a year at Southern Connecticut State University and three years at Sacred Heart University. In his Senior year, he was named to the All-New England team. He went on to play amateur soccer with the well known Vasco da Gama Club. He has coached for 15 years, working with multiple teams within AYSO and SYSO. He has coached in the Victory Soccer Academy, under legendary Coach Bob Dikranian and coaches the U16 boys team for Bridgeport Premier.
- Junior Varsity Coach
Coach Bell came through the Youth Academy System as a member of the professional club Cambridge United FC in England. He began with them at age 11 and played with them, earning an academy slot, until he was 18. He also played semi-professionally and made over 200 appearances for Newmarket Town FC. He worked for a while as a sport coach in school and holds coaching certifications in 12 sports. He was the Head Coach for the Youth Sports Organization for the County of Cambridge from 2007 through 2012 and eventually became the Regional Development Centre Coach for Cambridge United FC. In 2012 he came to the USA as a staff member of Youth Elite Soccer and was soon a Regional Director for the YES organization. After taking an assignment with YES here working with SYSO he assumed the coaching responsibilities for the U13 Premier Girls and the U14 Premier Boys programs, winning the Spring 2014 CJSA Premier League Championship with his U13 girls. He holds an FA License from England and a US Soccer "E" License.