|Ian Fuller (left) was promoted to full-time assistant coach during|
the offseason. (Photo: Orlando City SC)
By Mike Gramajo
SANFORD, Fla. — Although playing a familiar role last year, Ian Fuller officially started his role as assistant coach for Orlando City SC on Monday morning during the club’s first preseason training at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while,” Fuller told the OSJ. “I been wanting to coach my whole life and now I’m doing this full time.”
While the new year brings plenty of changes, the role of assistant coach isn’t new for Fuller. Despite playing a player-coach role for the Lions for three seasons (2011-2013), the Portland, Oregon native worked as an assistant coach for USL Pro rivals, Charleston Battery, in 2010.
With MLS one year away, Fuller emphasized his commitment to the Lions, stating that he’s happy here and focused on the present.
“Adrian (Heath) has given me this opportunity, and it’s up to me to see if I perform. I know my role within the system, but there are little things that I will see a slight different,” said Fuller. “I’m committed to the club and will be from now until the future. I think one day if that role presents itself, I’ll love to move on but at the moment, I’m more than happy. I got so much more to learn still, and this is just the beginning.”
While holding the title of second-in-command doesn’t change anything, Fuller did say that Heath will always choose the game day starting XI, but does come to him for his opinion on the selection.
“For him, it’s the next stage in his career and development, and I have every confidence that he will do well,” said coach Heath. “He started inserting himself into an assistant coach role last year, due to his lack of playing, but it becomes official this year.”
No other changes were made to the coaching staff, however, James O’Connor was promoted to player-coach early during the offseason.