Exclusive - New Charlotte FC goalkeeping coach Andy Quy is relishing taking on a "different type of challenge" when he joins the club ahead of its expansion in year in 2022.
The latest addition to Major League Soccer, CLTFC are in the process of building the roster and coaching staff that will look to put them on the map next season.
Joining head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez, as well as assistants Mikel Anita and Christian Lattanzio in the dugout, Quy brings a wealth of experience to Charlotte. His 15-year coaching career has, so far, taken in spells at the likes of Derby County, Aston Villa, and most famously Stoke City. He most recently worked at Brentford during their 2019/20 promotion campaign and served as Burton Albion's Head of Goalkeeping.
"As a coach, I’ve worked in various places but I’ve been looking for a different type of challenge," Quy said in an exclusive sit-down with 90min. "Really, the selling point of the project was to be a part of it at the very start. Being one of the first ones through the door and really making your mark on it and watching it grow.
“To work in MLS was a big pull as well. A league that’s growing and becoming more popular worldwide, the World Cup is coming in 2026, too. There was a massive pull from all of that."
During his 12-year stint with Stoke City, Quy played a big role in the recruitment and development of international and Premier League level goalkeepers such as Thomas Sørensen, Asmir Begovic, and Jack Butland. He also specializes in helping young players grow their games - skills he'll look to transfer to his new post in North Carolina.
“On a personal level, I’m looking forward to working with some really good goalkeepers, to develop a first-team group of goalkeepers, and to develop them down in the academy with a view to moving them up to the senior level," Quy added. "I want to be a real help to the academy goalkeeping coach and Charlotte’s academy staff, to assist them in bringing goalkeepers through. That’s something that’s really key for me.”
Quy already has plenty of first-hand experience with the unique surroundings of MLS and US soccer from previous pre-season tours with Stoke.
"The football is developing well, the names that are going there and the stages in their careers they’re at, it’s completely moving the level of play on," he said.
As part of the league's improvement, more and more teams can be seen keeping the ball on the ground, with a technical style that involves all 11 players being strong in possession seen around MLS.
In a recent exclusive interview with 90min, CLTFC president Nick Kelly revealed the intention is for the club to have a "pressing" style of play that will offer fans plenty of "goals and excitment".
Though he remains an avid believer that a goalkeeper must, first and foremost, remain good at keeping the ball out of net, Quy's own philsophy ties in well with the wider ethos Charlotte are putting in place.
“I’ve always adapted and changed the way I work to incorporate more of a focus on build-up play, first touch, being able to manipulate the ball and use it with your feet a lot better," he said. "Of course, that still doesn’t change the fact that you’ve got to be able to keep the ball out of the net. If you don’t do that at the weekend, you won’t get the chance to play with the ball on the ground, they go hand-in-hand.”
On how he can compliment head coach Ramirez's footballing principles, Quy added: “Ideally, your goalkeeper is a big part of the build-up, playing out from the back and building up with the team. He’s your first point of attack but also your last point of defense. He needs to make big saves at vital times. Your ideal goalkeeper delivers on both those things.
“That’s something we need to develop within the club. We’re starting from scratch, so we need to bring in goalkeepers that can do all of those things, and we are in the process of identifying players who can fit the style of play that Miguel (Angel Ramirez) has in place."
Again, it's the prospect of a new challenge and problem-solving that excites Quy the most: “I’m really looking forward to working with the club and the other staff and being able to implement that style. That’s another thing that draws me in; can we develop that style of play and how do we do it?”
If recent expansion teams like FC Cincinnati and Austin FC are anything to go by, Charlotte's backline could be in for a busy first season. Getting the goalkeeping staff in place early feels like a smart move.