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Meet Coach Des

Coach Des was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone where he first gained his love for soccer. While growing up in Montclair, he continued pursuing his passion as he was a member of both the volleyball and soccer programs at Montclair High School. After graduating high school in 2012, Des began his coaching career as a volleyball coach, it was not until 2 years later that he began coaching soccer.

Des started working for Montclair United in 2014 where he dedicated hours of his time to learning and studying the proper trades needed to become a quality grassroots soccer coach. Within a year, he created a coaching style of his own that caught the attention of SDFC/SDA owner Ashley Hammond, who employed Des in his company. Now that Des started his own company, Our Training Academy, Ash is still a key mentor is Des’s coaching career.

Des’s long-term youth development goal is that all players leave each session with an OTA coach knowing that they have better techniques that they can display on the field.

Our goal is to help players become overall better individuals by having them learn to be held accountable as well as understanding the importance of positive decision-making skills so that they can mature onto the next level.

Meet Coach Jacob

Coach Baca grew up in Bloomfield, NJ where his soccer career began at a young age before joining Den of Lions. After graduating from Bloomfield High School, Baca attended Montclair State University where he received a BA in Business with a Finance concentration.

Coach Baca received his first team, U13 Girls, in 2016. As a coach, Baca loves to get the best out of players each session; watching as players improve and learn about the game from multiple perspectives gives Baca a feeling of success as a coach.

He hopes for players to gain knowledge of the game and confidence as a player during training sessions. In the long run, Baca wants to watch his players continue to play at the college/professional level while hoping one day to be coaching at the college level as well.

Baca’s long-term goal is to provide all local towns the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Our goal is to supply these smaller towns the proper training and equipment, so the youth can reach their full potential and possibly help them through college with scholarships.


Meet Coach Phil

Phil started playing pick-up soccer at his local park until making the move into travel soccer with Bloomfield town recreation. After years with Bloomfield and NJ Stallions, Phil went to train in Brazil under Fluminense. He played his last two years of high school with MatchFit Academy, spending his senior year as a training player for New York Red Bulls Academy.

Phil is a two-year varsity letter winner at Montclair High School and played his freshman year at NCAA Division I California Polytechnic. His coaching career began with private goalkeeper training under supervision of a former professional coach and player in the Italian Serie A.

Phil coached private sessions for five years before joining Coach Des at Clifton Stallions to assist team coaching and goalkeeper coaching for age groups ranging from U-12 to U-19 with both girls and boys teams. He functioned in that capacity for three seasons, ultimately joining Des to help build OTA.


Meet Coach Anthony

Coach Anthony currently lives in his hometown of Montclair where he attended Montclair High School and was a member of their boys’ soccer team. After high school, Anthony went on to attend Albright College where he received a degree in Psychology in 2016.

While at Albright College, he served as a student assistant coach for the men’s soccer program where he predominantly worked with the goalkeepers. As a coach, Anthony does not just focus on players as an athlete, but as an individual as well. He wishes to instill a work ethic will help them succeed both on and off the pitch.

“Watching as a player develops their soccer skills, learn discipline and gain confidence will assist as they strive to fulfill their highest potential on the pitch, classroom and beyond; to me, that is the ultimate goal for me, as a coach, to see my youth players achieve.”