The AFC Ann Arbor women’s side have announced the third member of their coaching staff. Jim Grewe joins the AFCAA women as the side’s goalkeeper coach. He is the second member named by Andy Pritchard to the staff as an assistant for the team. When asked what about the club appealed to him, Grewe had a list of two key reasons.
“First and foremost being able to coach with both Andy and Barry is a big draw. Both are coaches that I respect and look forward to working with. Secondly, seeing what the AFC Ann Arbor men's side has been able to accomplish both on the field and in the community over the past few years. Trying to replicate that with the women's side is an exciting and intriguing challenge.”
Grewe’s coaching pedigree includes time most recently spent as the Director of Goalkeeping for the Michigan Jaguars. He has fourteen years of experience with the Jaguars and additionally, served as Michigan ODP Goalkeeping Coach during his time with the Jaguars. Grewe also served as the Goalkeeping Coach for the Eastern Michigan University Eagles’ women’s side. Before coaching, Grewe spent 1997-2000 as a netminder for the Detroit Titans, including helping to helm Detroit to their first ever victory over Michigan State in East Lansing.
Grewe’s experiences were massively influential on his thought process about soccer as a coach. As a result, he told us, “I think the biggest thing I took away from my college playing and coaching experience is that no matter what level you are playing/coaching at there is still a lot to learn and a lot to teach. You have to be willing to learn, grow and adjust no matter your position or role.”
Grewe holds a USSF ‘D’ License and, by way of spending his career in the state of Michigan, is plenty familiar with the state of Michigan and talent within the state. To Pritchard, that appealed to Grewe, whom he has known for about a decade, saying, “He has coached goalkeepers in Michigan for many years at all levels - ODP, youth and collegiate.” The time spent in Michigan should make any sort of settling in process rather easy to assimilate to.
AFCAA’s newest coach shared a bit of insight into his coaching methodology for his keepers. “The number one thing I try to instill in the goalkeepers I work with is confidence,” he said. “That has to be the base on which you build.” With the modern game evolving and, as he stated, “the days of just being a shot-stopper are gone,” Grewe also added, “The other big thing I want them to understand is that they are the 11th field player, that has the luxury of using their hands when necessary.” AFCAA will continue to be a forward-thinking club on both the men’s and women’s sides with shifts in modern footballing trends, and the addition to Grewe with his line of thinking is no exception.
As Pritchard’s staff shapes up, there is a methodology behind the coaching staff’s composition. “With the process of naming I know that both Jim and Barry have different opinions/views on the game from me, and that will bring ideas about the game that I may not think of.” Pritchard adds, about his friendship and knowledge of the staff named so far, “I’ve known both coaches for a long period of time and consider both very good friends. I know they will be a great asset to the team. With all coaches living in Ann Arbor, I think that gives us all an extra push to do well.”
As the summer fast approaches, and the staff rounds into form, AFC Ann Arbor will continue to have updates on AFCAA roster and coaching staff news as it develops.