After a long and successful career overseas, the Edmonton native has returned to his birthplace, named FC Edmonton’s Goalkeeping Coach ahead of the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League.
“Throughout my career there were always murmurs and rumors of an all-Canadian league starting up again, and to be a part of that, especially in the town I grew up in, is very special.” Hirschfeld said excitedly.
The Canadian international earned 48 caps for his country between 2000 and 2013, bursting onto the scene at the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he was named the tournament’s Top Goalkeeper, helping Canada finish in third place.
The keeper also made over 250 first team appearances for various clubs over his career, featuring most prominently in Norway. Hirschfeld won the Tippeligaen with Rosenborg in 2006, which led to the Norwegian club taking part in Champions League play the following season. Hirschfeld was able to play in big matches against clubs like Valencia CF of Spain and England’s Chelsea FC.
When asked how he would translate all of those experiences into his coaching style, Hirschfeld put it rather bluntly – it’s not about him anymore.
“There’s nothing worse than a retired footballer talking about how good they thought they were – and it seems the older they get, the better they were,” explained Hirschfeld. “My primary focus will be to prepare the players for their own experiences.”
As for the transition to coaching, Hirschfeld says he never really thought about while he was playing, but it makes sense now.
“After playing the sport for so long it doesn’t seem like that becoming a coach is a choice, it’s something that naturally occurs over time,” Hirschfeld suggested.
Now Hirschfeld will be in charge of a pair of young keepers in Connor James and Dylon Powley, two players he has kept a bit of an eye on since their younger days.
“Years ago, in my off-seasons, I would visit Edmonton and I remember seeing them play as youths,” said Hirschfeld. “It’s great to see they have stayed the course and come as far as they have.”
“Both have a great work ethic and a solid physical and technical foundation to draw upon, so there is not much that separates the two. I hope I can help to get the best out of them.”
FC Edmonton is a proud member of the Canadian Premier League, kicking off in April of 2019. For season ticket information, head to our website – https://fcedmonton.canpl.ca/tickets/