Joe Cherackal is entering his fourth year on the men’s soccer staff at Wesleyan in 2017. After spending the 2015 and 2016 seasons as the sub-varsity head coach, he will join the varsity team in a full-time role.
A native of Connecticut, he played for local club Oakwood out of Glastonbury before enrolling at Holy Cross. After graduating in 2009, he began coaching locally with the Portland Soccer Club. In 2012, Cherackal returned to his roots and began coaching for Oakwood. He has since switched youth clubs, assuming duties with the FSA FC for the 2015-16 season. Cherackal received a national “D” coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in 2013. He also became a certified strength and conditioning specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in 2011.
Joe shared his insights on the start of his successful career and what he looks for in a Wesleyan University Men’s Soccer Player:
Why did you decide to become a college soccer coach?
JC: I love the game and I want to provide an enjoyable soccer experience for undergraduates.
Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching career? What did you learn from them?
JC: Todd Sadler (Oakwood club coach). Patience; I learned that player development/growth is deliberate and takes time.
What are the three most important skills you try to instill in your players?
JC: Honesty, humility and resiliency.
Describe yourself as a soccer player. What were your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
JC: Strengths: composed, technique; weaknesses: pace, mentality. I was a #6 before college but played as a #3 when I got to college because I was left footed and I could distribute the ball well. I would struggle when we were out of possession because I didn't have the legs to keep up with opposition #7's and #11's.
Describe yourself as a coach in three words:
JC: Meticulous, passionate, reflective.
What is your ideal system of play? Why?
JC: 3-5-2 w/ one holding mid. We’d press all game and play direct, attacking soccer, it's the most fun playing with two #9's that work off of each other.