Huntsville City Football Club names first head coach

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Jack Collison has been named the first head coach for the Huntsville City Football Club. (Jack Collison via Facebook)

The Huntsville City Football Club announced this week that Jack Collison has been named the team’s first head coach. Collison is former player of West Ham United in the English Premier League with a vast history of developing young talent in the U.S. and abroad.

Here’s what to know about HCFC’s new coach:

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HCFC’s First Head Coach

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HCFC announced this week the hiring of Jack Collison, the team’s first head coach. (HCFC)

Collison joins Huntsville City FC after two seasons at the helm of Atlanta United FC 2. Collison joined Atlanta 2 in June of 2021 after a rich history of developing talent as the head coach of the club’s U-17 Academy team.

The former English Premier League midfielder began his coaching career in 2015 with Peterborough’s Academy. In 2017, he returned to his playing club, West Ham United, where he coached the U-14, U-16 and U-18 squads through 2019.

Collison has managed over 130 matches in his young career from the U-18 level to the USL Championship. While managing the Atlanta United Academy, Collison led the group to a 12W-0D-5L record with a plus 34 goal differential from 2019-21. 

As a player, Collison was a mainstay in English football where he made 121 appearances for West Ham United in the Premier League and Championship. The midfielder also played for Bournemouth in 2013, Wigan in 2014 and joined Peterborough United in 2015, where he would ultimately retire in 2016. 

Internationally, Collison earned 17 caps for the Wales’ Senior National Team.

“When we looked at a profile of what we thought the leader of Huntsville City FC looked like, very quickly it became evident that Jack was the ideal candidate. His ability to help develop future first team players for Nashville SC will be a critical asset in our pro player pathway. We are very excited about Jack’s addition, and know that he will play a key role in both growing players for NSC while also managing a very competitive team on the field in Huntsville.”

Mike Jacobs, General Manager of Nashville SC and Huntsville City FC

HCFC’s first season is approaching

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HCFC will begin play in the spring for its inaugural season. (Michael Seale / Hville Blast)

HCFC already announced the signing of its first player, Isaiah Johnston. The midfielder is from Milton, Ontario and spent the past three seasons playing for York United FC in the Canadian Premier League (CPL). Last year, he led the team to the playoffs and appeared as one of the CPL’s Next Gen stars, an award honoring the best of young Canadian talent.

Joining Collison’s staff will be Assistant Coach Omar Jarun, Goalkeeper Coach John Berner and Nick Law who will serve in the capacity of a player coach this season.

“I am very excited at the prospect of bringing soccer to Rocket City and building a team that really represents the community. I will look to build an exciting, fast paced brand of soccer that can bring success on the pitch in Huntsville, whilst helping to develop some of the future stars for Nashville SC. My staff and I are currently hard at work to achieve these goals and can’t wait to see everyone packed inside the Joe Davis stadium supporting a team we can ALL be proud of.” 

Jack Collison, HCFC’s first head coach

MLS NEXT Pro completes the integrated player pathway from MLS NEXT through to MLS first teams and allows young players and experienced professionals the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while competing for an MLS NEXT Pro championship.

The team will play at what will be the newly-renovated Joe Davis Stadium. Renovations to Joe Davis Stadium will be completed by fall of next year, according to developers Chapman-Sisson.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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