By Matt Ralph/NPSL.com
Since FC Monmouth’s inaugural season in 2018, Christopher Dailey has been one of the NPSL team’s biggest fans.
The now 17-year-old from Wall Township’s devotion to the club and passion for creating content and honing his journalism and broadcasting skills has led to an opportunity for him to do more than cheer on the team from the stands.
Dailey started calling games and conducting post-game interviews for the team last summer after reaching out to the club and expressing interest in helping out wherever he could behind the scenes.
“I just reached out to the club on the website,” Dailey said.
Pursuing opportunities in soccer isn’t a new thing for the high school junior, who started the website The Sports Court in 2019 and has scored interviews with athletes and sports figures running the gamut from Shaquille O’Neal and Saquon Barkley to Gregg Berhalter.
Dailey scored his first press credential for a pro soccer game when he was only 13 for a New York Red Bulls game.
“They never asked for my age on the credential form so I filled it out just to see what would happen,” Dailey said. “When I got there they said it’s a one-time pass and that I should come back when I’m older.”
Dailey loves all sports but he is a self-described “soccer nerd” who loves following everything from NPSL to the Premier League and enjoys taking deep dives into soccer history. He plays for his high school team at Wall Township and somehow also manages to find time to organize charity events and still have a social life.
“Kids my age will go on Snapchat for hours,” he said. “I’d rather just be working on the Sports Court.”
The work ethic and the passion for learning his craft has drawn high praise from FC Monmouth and around the Keystone Conference.
“Chris is one of the best examples of our mission to connect, entertain, and inspire Monmouth County,” said Jacco de Bruijn, co-owner and general manager of FC Monmouth. “He started off as our biggest local fan and it is great to see that five years later he is a part of our staff, doing what he does best.”
Dailey said one of his favorite things about getting to work for the club is that everyone involved is there for the love of the game.
“There is a purity to it,” Dailey said. “These guys just all have a love for the game like I do and everybody at this level is here for the right reasons.”
Like the players on the field aiming to develop their game for a higher level, Dailey has big ambitions around making a career in soccer.
“Becoming a broadcaster and just being in American soccer is my ultimate goal,” Dailey said. “I’m just trying to experience as much as I can now before going off to college.”
That pursuit, whether it’s on the field or off, is one FC Monmouth prides itself in aiding.
“We aim to provide opportunities for players and staff to grow their careers, and Chris has grabbed this with both hands,” de Bruijn said. “We look forward to supporting him and seeing him grow far beyond FC Monmouth.”
Far from being a typical teen, Dailey’s journey shows that it’s never too early to pursue a passion and to contribute to the growth of the game in the U.S.
“I’m really just super grateful that everyone at FC Monmouth has been so nice to me,” he said. “It’s been such a great experience.”