FC Wisconsin is excited to announce that moving into the 2019-2020 season, Neil Tolson will become the club's Regional Competitive Program (RCP) Director. Tolson, while continuing to assist with all age groups and programs within the club, will now also oversee and direct the RCP.
“Our RCP has grown and improved immensely over the last few years - which is a credit to our coaches and the curriculum that the club has in place for all teams. With the growth and success that our RCP teams are having, it is important to have a full-time staff member overseeing this program. To have someone with Neil’s playing and coaching background now overseeing the RCP is testament to how far this club has come, and continues to highlight our commitment to true-long term development for all our players, across all programs.” said Co-Director of Coaching, Ben Shepherd.
“Since joining FC Wisconsin last June, I have been amazed at the level of talent the club has across all age groups, and within all teams. I am excited to take on more of a leadership role within the club, and look forward to aiding the continued development for all our RCP teams.” shared, Neil Tolson.
Tolson has a playing career unmatched by any other coach in the Midwest. Tolson played in the first ever year of the English Premier League in the 1992-1993 season with Oldham Athletic, and helped them narrowly avoid relegation to remain in the top flight. Tolson would go on to play for Bradford City, York City, Southend United, and Chester City, among others. He would achieve promotion to the championship through the playoffs with Bradford City, and scored the winning goal in a 3-2 win over Everton in the League Cup for York City in the 1996-1997 season. Tolson would go on to play more than 300 professional games within the English Football League, scoring 92 goals in the process.
After finishing his playing career, Neil would undertake his English Football Association (FA) coaching badges, and currently is on track to complete his UEFA A license which Is the second highest coaching qualification in professional soccer worldwide. Tolson has been the Manager (Head Coach) of professional clubs such as Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic FC, and Altrincham Town, where he was serving as the Head of Youth Director until he accepted his position with FC Wisconsin.
“Neil has been an amazing addition to the FC Wisconsin. He always finds the positive, and is extremely encouraging to all the coaches and players. His leadership will continue to raise the level and expectations for not only the RCP, but the club as a whole. Having a former English Premier League player with a brilliant coaching mind taking on this program is huge, and unique in this state.” added Co-Director of Coaching, Billy Solberg.
Tolson has helped produce countless players that have gone on to play professionally within England. The most notable being Duncan Watmore who currently plays for Sunderland and has captained the England National Team at the U21 Level.
What people were saying about FC Wisconsin’s hire of Neil Tolson last June:
“When Altrincham discovered me, I was only playing at the high school level. Neil introduced me to the world of professional football. Without Tols, I would have struggled to be discovered and not gone on to have the Premier League and England career I have had so far. As an ex-English Premier League player, Neil has considerable experience of playing the game at professional level. As a coach, he is tactically aware and a very good communicator and motivator.” - Duncan Watmore, current Sunderland player
“Neil is a great character with extensive knowledge of the game. He will work tirelessly to develop every athlete and push them to become a better player and a hard-working individual. Neil guided me through my first few years of coaching with his approachable nature and willingness to give up his time to help progress my career. He will be a great asset to FC Wisconsin and I am excited to hear all the success stories.” - Steven Crane, Manchester United Academy Coach
“What a hire for FC Wisconsin and Wisconsin in general! Having known Ben Shepherd from our days coaching in the Carolinas, I have followed FC Wisconsin’s progress from afar with interest. This is a great hire by the Directors of Coaching, and knowing the level that Neil Tolson has played and coached in England, this will only help to continue the fine work that takes place at the club.” - Jeremy Gunn, Stanford University Head Men’s Soccer Coach
“Neil’s experiences in the Premier League and English Football League during his playing days coupled with the coaching/managing experience he gained working with clubs in the northwest, means I’m sure he’ll be a great success in the USA. He is an outstanding developer of young talent and will be missed.” - Geoff Lomax, English Football Association Coaching Educator
“I have had the pleasure of playing with Neil at Bradford City and having him as my Assistant Manager at Altrincham FC. He's a good honest man with a wide range of knowledge in football matters. Neil played a pivotal part in the success we had at Altrincham FC. Neil has all the tools to succeed at FC Wisconsin and I’m positive he will be a massive success there. Good luck, Tols!” - Lee Sinnott, Former English Professional Footballer and Manager
“Big Tol was the first soccer superstar that came from our village in England. As a teenager, he was someone who I wanted to be like as a player and person. He truly cares about players. Years ago, we all remember how he came out to do our trophy presentation for free. His enthusiasm and personality has carried over into coaching where he has worked with players of all ages as well as professionals. Neil has gained great respect amongst the professional coaching community in England which I am positive will be felt in the US. FC Wisconsin is certainly lucky to have him joining their club.” - Daniel Hill, Director at Albion Hurricanes FC (Texas)