Julian Richens understands the pressure that comes with taking over a successful program. But rather than be concerned by such expectations, Richens is ready to embrace the challenge as the 38-year-old become the Jersey Express head coach for the 2016 season.
“It’s a great opportunity, it really is. The Express has experienced great success, they’re a perennial power in the PDL and I’m looking forward to helping add to that success,” Richens said. “It’s certainly a challenge. It’s about making one or two tweaks with your coaching philosophy to the game compared to what the players are used to. But it’s certainly a lot easier than going into a league with a stagnant program and building it up from the bottom. With any position comes a certain amount of pressure, but it’s an opportunity that I’m looking forward to.”
Richens has spent the past five seasons as the head men’s soccer coach at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City. Prior to that, Richens was an assistant coach at Rider University for four seasons. He also spent two seasons as New Jersey City University’s head women’s soccer coach.
Richens’ experience at the college level made him an ideal candidate in the eyes of Express general manager Gali Maimon.
“It’s very important because he’s going to be coaching the kind of players (for us in the summer), that he does the rest of the year (for Saint Peter’s) during the college season,” Maimon said.. It’s very important to understand the college kids and what’s going on in their heads. It’s very important to have someone from that field.”
Prior to getting into coaching, Richens played semi-professional soccer and at Brunel University in England.
Richens inherits an Express squad, which was appeared in the PDL Eastern Conference Championship in each of the last two seasons. Last year’s squad, which went 13-5-2, also earned its first ever U.S. Open Cup victory as it reached the third round of the tournament.
The Express will have open tryouts for the 2016 season on December 19-20 time and location TBA shortley.