Phil Goldberg and his five grandchildren. Photo courtesy of the Goldberg family.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 15, 2016-The yuletide season is a special time to be in New York and it’s even more special this year as Hanukkah kicks off on Christmas Eve. Soaking it all in will be longtime youth soccer volunteer Phil Goldberg, whose birthday is on December 25.
“Always interested in a happy ending, I most likely will be watching the Hallmark Movie Channel all day,” Phil said. Phil will be spending the holidays with his three children Heidi, Michael and Dayna, their spouses Bill, Ann Marie and Michel along with his five grandchildren Nick, Tom, Leah, Olivia and Lucette.
“With one more grandchild on the way!“ Phil stated.
For his decades as an outstanding coach and club President, Phil is being honored by the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) as our Personality of the Month for December.
Phil stated, “In 1978, I received a phone call on my answering machine. ‘Mr. Goldberg, my name is Stu Fisher, Pee Wee Boys Commissioner from the Island Trees Soccer Club. Would you possibly be interested in coaching a team? We are short a coach.’ 38 years later, I am still here!“
The Levittown resident went on to coach eight intramural and nine travel teams, both boys and girls squads in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), winning the Long Island Cup, Division Championship and State Cup.
He also coached high school girls teams at Plainview in 1988 and ’89, Island Trees from 1990 to 2009, Oyster Bay from 2010 to ’14, back in Island Trees for the past two years, incredibly missing the playoffs just once. Phil’s Island Trees High School team won the Nassau County championship in 1993, his teams have been in the Nassau County finals seven times and he has been honored with Coach of the Year and Sportsmanship Awards.
Phil Goldberg at the John Lively Memorial Festival. Photo courtesy of Eastern New York.
Phil served as Bantam Commissioner and Vice President at the Island Trees club, then President from 1980 to 2011, when Joe Battolatto and then Brian Fielding served as President, with a second tour of duty as President starting in 2015. During Phil's Presidency, over $125,000 in Sue Link Memorial Scholarship money has been distributed to deserving high school seniors. Also, the Sue Link Memorial Tournament is an indoor tourney that has been played in her memory annually since she was killed by a drunk driver while an Island Trees Soccer Club player over three decades ago.
Additionally, on Phil’s watch, Island Trees’ Memorial Day Intramural Festival changed its name to the John Lively Memorial Festival in honor of the club’s Founding Father. But Phil says his greatest impact has been as a coach.
“Just like life, coaching has its ups and downs. I’ve been a coach for nearly 40 years, including other sports. I promised myself that when there are more downs than ups, I would pack it in. In all my years of coaching, that has never happened,” Phil explained. ”Close at times but never quite there because of my players. They are my reward! I still hear from a good majority of them and their accomplishments makes me realize the impact I had on their lives. To this day, I enjoy coaching to its fullest!“
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.