Jesse Retan is now a coach within the Spokane Shadow youth program, and it has clearly impacted his play on the field.
“Coaching and the way we play with the first team is full circle,” Retan said. “We’re looking to do similar things to what I would ask of my youth players. When all my players are there to watch, it’s a practice what I preach kind of thing. If I’m preaching in training: full commitment of your work rate and energy, you’re sure I’m going to give that on the field.”
And Jesse’s work rate and effort is not lost on Spokane Shadow SC Head Coach Cameron Bushey.
“He is an intrinsic piece to our competitive environment. He’s always willing to put in the full amount of work the game demands.”
For Retan, coaching has helped him see different styles of leadership.
“I’m very vocal with my players. When I’m on the field I try to lead more by example, but now that I’m a coach some of the younger players feel comfortable asking me questions.”
And Bushey has noticed the impact coaching has had on Retan’s game, and is impressed by his ability to continue learning the game as a player.
“He is a smart player and he is a diligent-to-the-craft coach. He might be the most coachable player on the team, which is not easiest when that player is also a coach. He’s highly influential from within the player group in continuing to instill our style of play.”
While his coaching has certainly impacted the club as a whole, Retan has been a major presence for the Shadow first team for three seasons, and in 2017, the team’s first with the NPSL, Retan is playing all over the field, including the #7 and #10 spots.
Regardless of where he plays, Retan has a very precise guideline for his success.
“Can I get on the ball? Can I find spaces within the lines? Can I be the next link in the attacking third? And also for me personality-wise I like to set the tone in terms of work rate, challenging, and tracking back. I’m going to give everything.”
And giving everything is easier for Retan when he can play in front of his hometown of Spokane.
“It’s a privilege,” Retan said on playing in Spokane. “Being able to have kids that I coach come watch and see the game has been an honor.”
For Retan, coaching the soccer talent of the future does not stop when he’s with the Shadow SC first-team.
“I want to be a guide to the younger players, whether that be tactically or an understanding of situations.”
And Retan wants to keep the NPSL team focused here at the end of the regular season.
“As a group, we wanted to win, and that hasn’t necessarily happened, but at this point now it’s finish strong, it’s about overturning a bump in losing and then look back and make changes to do what we have to do to improve.”
Retan has a simple goal for helping his team.
“I don’t want to score twenty goals or get ten assists. I just want to help the team.”
And wherever Retan is on the pitch, whether it be the 10, 7, or from the sidelines, this player always helps his team and his hometown club in addition to inspiring a new generation of promising footballers.