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Declan Link

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Declan Link
Personal information
Full name Declan John Link
Date of birth (1964-05-08) 8 May 1964 (age 57)
Place of birth Sunbury-On-Thames, England
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1980-1982 Queens Park Rangers
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987-1990 Rollins College
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982-1984 Staines Town
1984-1986 Wycombe Wanderers
1987 Wycombe Wanderers
1990 Orlando Lions
Teams managed
1991- Rollins College (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

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Declan John Link (born 8 May 1964) is an English former professional footballer, who is currently an assistant coach for the Rollins College men's soccer program..[1]

Playing Career[edit]

Link began his career in the youth ranks at Queens Park Rangers. Although he never made a first-team appearance for the R’s, Link found success playing in the Isthmian League for local teams, Staines Town F.C and Wycombe Wanderers F.C.[2]. During his time at Staines, Link formed a devastating strike partnership with Simon Read, and when Staines were demoted from the Isthmian League in 1984[3], Wycombe Wanderers came calling for the young strikers. Link and Read would go on to score 63 goals between them before Link left to work in the United States in November of 1985[4]. Just over a year later, Wycombe re-signed Link in January 1987 alongside his younger brother George[5]. Wycombe would go on to win the Isthmian League and Berks & Bucks Senior Cup in May 1987 with the Link brothers playing an integral part of this success[6]. In the fall of 1987, Link moved back to America to attend Rollins College and play for the men’s soccer program[7]. To this day, Link holds the record as the leading scorer as a Freshman in program history, scoring 16 goals. During his three-year stint with the Tars, Link scored a total of 43 goals, was a Second Team All-American in 1989, a three-time All-South Region and All-Sunshine State Conference selection, and two-time All-State selection[8]. At the end of his college career, Link would go on to play professionally for the Orlando Lions in 1990 in the American Professional Soccer League.[9][10]

Coaching Career[edit]

In 1991, Link became the Assistant Coach of Rollins College’s Men’s Soccer Program alongside Head Coach Keith Buckley. During their career, they have amassed over 300 wins, won multiple Sunshine State Conference Tournament Titles, and advanced to the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament many times. The highlight of the coaching duo’s career came in 2010 when they led Rollins to the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer National Championship game in 2010, finishing runner-up[11]. Link has also coached youth teams throughout the years in the Central Florida area including teams at Seminole Soccer Club, CFU, FC America, and GPS Florida[12]

Honors & Awards[edit]

Link was inducted into the Rollins College Athletics Hall of Fame in March 2000[13] and the Sunshine State Conference Athletics Hall of Fame in March 2016[14]

Personal Life[edit]

Link is from Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex, United Kingdom. After finishing his International Relations Degree in 1990, Link has found a career in technology recruitment working for Renaissance Worldwide and Stratus Technology Services. In 2016, Link founded his own technology company, Link 2 Solutions LLC.[15]. Link settled down in Orlando, Florida with his wife Katy, and their three sons: Alexander, Thomas, and Jack[8]

References[edit]

  1. "2020 Men's Soccer Coaching Staff". Rollins Sports.
  2. "Your Quick Guide to the R's From Loftus Road". Chairboys on the Net.
  3. "CELEBRATING 126 YEARS 1892 – 2018". Staines Town Football Club.
  4. Hurman, Dale. "Ups & downs as Blues embrace the future!". Wycombe Wanderers.
  5. "Retro - A look back on the 1986/87 season: January 1987". Chairboys on the Net.
  6. "Retro - A look back on the 1986/87 season: April/May 1987". Chairboys on the Net.
  7. Gordon, Cheryl. "TARS' LINK NEVER ONE TO MISS AN ADVENTURE". Orlando Sentinel.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Declan Link". Rollins Sports.
  9. "Lions Rosters". NASL Jerseys.
  10. "4-22-1990 New Jersey Eagles v Orlando Lions Game Notes" (PDF). Fun While It Lasted.
  11. "Keith Buckley". Rollins Sports.
  12. "Declan Link". LinkedIn.
  13. "Hall of Fame". Rollins Sports.
  14. "Hall of Fame". Sunshine State Conference.
  15. "Declan Link". Link 2 Solutions LLC.


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