Friday, February 10, 2012
The Toronto Lynx’s Konner McNamara, pictured right, has moved through the club’s program, from playing in its Super Y-League program into the Super-20 League and ultimately the PDL. Now the tall center back is aiming to move into the professional ranks, and a good showing at the USL PRO Combine presented by Umbro might help him reach that goal. USLSoccer.com spoke with McNamara last week about the Combine and what being part of the Lynx’s organization offered him.
USLSoccer.com: Did you have any expectations as to what to expect coming in?
McNAMARA: You know, my older brother [Mikael] went to the combine last year, so he kind of filled me in as to what goes on, but I expected good players and there were a lot of good players, a lot more than I thought. I didn’t expect the soreness after the three games, but I thought it was a really good experience.
USLSoccer.com: It seemed as though, from an outside perspective, you had a pretty good weekend. Did it feel that way when you were out on the field?
McNAMARA: I thought I showed decent. Maybe if I was playing consistently I would have done better, but you just remember all the mistakes more than the things you did well, but I thought I had a decent showing, pretty close to what I can do on the field, so I was pretty pleased with how I showed.
USLSoccer.com: What was the biggest thing you took away from the weekend?
McNAMARA: That the USL is not as easy as people think to get in. There’s a lot of high-quality players that are trying to get into that league and you gain a certain respect for the league itself.
USLSoccer.com: Playing for Toronto, those guys have done a great job producing talent through the years. What was it like to come up through their system and all the way through the PDL?
McNAMARA: You know, I think coming up from U16 or U15, or wherever I came up from, I’ve done everything through USL, so it would mean a lot to come up through the whole USL program and be professional. We’ve been a pretty good team for a while, and Duncan Wilde and Billy Steele, I give a lot of credit to them. It would be really exciting if I could make it into USL PRO and complete the USL journey.
USLSoccer.com: As a coach, what’s the biggest thing Duncan’s brought to you, and brought to your game to help you progress.
McNAMARA: He is the one who told me I could play. I was a smaller guy, and he said I could be a center back. He’s a player’s coach; he’s the best in-game coach there is, the preparation. He gave me confidence the whole way through that the next step was, the big step that I needed to make it from U17 to 20s, or from 20s to college, that I could do that. He was behind me the whole way, he told me I was a good enough player and he had faith in me, which means a lot coming from Duncan Wilde.
USLSoccer.com: What’s the next step for you?
McNAMARA: I’m not too sure, I don’t have any more combines lined up. Hopefully I’ll hear from some teams, maybe Dayton because my brother, Mikael, plays there under [Coach] Ivar [van Dinteren]. The next step hopefully is to play in USL PRO and gain some experience there and then hopefully move on to the next step.