Card moved back to Ottawa in 2010 and was eager to get involved in the football community again. “I started attending the Warriors Annual Golf Tournaments, where I was able to re-connect with a lot of familiar faces and meet some new friends. Eventually, I was asked to help coach by the Bantam Defensive Coordinator, Joe Papalia. Together with coaches’; Paul Stewart, Tim Sheahan, Pat Kilmartin, and Carl Andrea Potier, we took a young team to the A cup Quarters in 2015, and to the A Cup finals in 2016 eventually losing to a very talented Gloucester South Raiders team.” Card explains. Card played for the Warriors for seven years, starting in Tyke when he was nine years old. “I grew up playing in the West End with some great friends, such as Marie Bosco, Trevor Sharp, and eventual Grey Cup Champion Justin Phillips (Warriors Hall of Fame inductee).” says Card.
“This summer, I took a position on Jeff Koradi's Junior Varsity staff with the Cumberland Panthers in the new Ontario Provincial Football League. It's been great traveling to play teams in southern Ontario and gives the players a valuable experience seeing some new cities, and playing some competitive well coached teams.” Card says about his current coaching position.
Card says his favourite thing about coaching is “being around the game and communicating the process of working to become great at something. My hope is that the kids learn a thing or two about applying themselves, working night after night to improve themselves. Whether they continue to play football or do something else, success in life has a lot to do with these simple truths and dedicating yourself fully to improvement.”
Card says there are so many rewarding moments as a youth sports coach but “my favourite moments have been the simple things. Being on the field again, remembering what it was like to play as a kid, and building a team with a new group of players and with a new group of coaches. Shaping a team and going on the journey of a season is definitely my favourite part.”
His biggest challenge so far as a coach has been “keeping things fun and loose on the field for the kids, but also communicating the level of intensity, passion and energy that is required to play at a very high level. In my experience, most kids are looking for the added knowledge and discipline - However, for some players they require a more balanced and light hearted approach.”
Check out HESN’s video coverage of one of the Cumberland Panther Junior Varsity games.