Richard Henderson is widely known in the Bellingham United community and will continue to expand his role as player, captain, and now coach! He adds an offensive punch to the 2018/19 BUFC Indoor season. Scroll down to check out Richards game winner in last year’s WISL Championship! Learn more about him on a personal note by reading his answers to the following questionnaire:
- What kind of tunes do you listen to?
I like all kinds of music, I have to be diverse in my musical tastes since I have been on DJ duty for the changing room in my time at United. I like Country music when I’m driving, dance music when I am working out and in the changing room the guys like a mix of reggae, hip hop and some old school classics.
- What do you outside of Bellingham United?
I work at Western Washington University. I spend most of my time with first year students, advising them, acting as a conduct officer if they are making poor choices and supervise some professional and student staff. I also coach both boys and girls soccer at the high school level. I live in town with my wife and two dogs. We are expecting our first child in November so just in time for the season to start.
- What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish on your bucket list?
I want to travel to Asia and Australia. I have been to plenty places in Europe but would like to go to Japan, and Philippines for the cultural experience and Australia as I have some family there.
- Favorite football club aside from Bellingham United?
My hometown team is Dundee United. Currently they are not doing so well playing in the championship division in Scotland (they need to sack their head coach) however Dundee United were a powerhouse in the 80s. I think we are the only team who has an unbeaten record against Barcelona beating them home away twice in the European Cup.
- Favorite professional footballers?
There is alot, if i had to pick one I would say the original Ronaldo from Brazil. He was a level above everyone and if it wasn’t for the injuries I think he would have set records that would be never matched. I also like Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, Scholes, currently I think we are blessed to watch Ronaldo and Messi but I currently think Edens Hazard is the best player to watch.
- Favorite professional managers?
Of course Alex Ferguson as a Scottish manager and what he did at Manchester United was unbelievable. Scotland have had many great managers I look up to many of them who were ahead of their time. Currently I think everyone enjoys how Pep Guardiola’s team plays, I think Maurizio Sarri will do well at Chelsea. I am not a fan of Mourinho I think he is so negative and I don’t like what he has done to Manchester United in the respect of such a defensive minded team.
I like Diego Simeone and Pochettino as I think what they have achieved with much less resources is admirable and both doing it in contrasting styles. I like managers who go against the grain at times and are brave enough to change formations and imprint their own identity onto teams instead of trying to be a poor image of Barcelona.
In terms of humor I really like Harry Redknapp and Ian Holloway there post match interviews are funny and I think they bring an unseen side to the game into the public.
- Favorite Bellingham United memory?
There is a few, scoring the winning goal against Spokane to finish second in the EPLWA breaking their undefeated record on the road for two years was special. Winning the first title in 2016 which was my first season was great. Scoring four in the 2017 final was also great however I think my goal against Tacoma in this past years final to win with two minutes remaining was the best. It was such a great final Tacoma played us smart, they stifled us in a lot of ways they had obviously worked on our strengths but we battled back and to score from a set piece like I did was a fantastic experience. I had friends and family watching live online which was nice as they do not get to see me play much as they are back in the UK. The dressing room after that was just a special place and the banter was incredible that night arguably the best dressing room experience I have been part of so hopefully we can replicate that this year.
- What is it going to take for United to pull off another championship season?
It is definitely going to be our toughest yet as each year teams are trying different systems and tactics to beat us. We have to get our new squad members assimilated into the team culture and way of playing quickly. Road games are usually the points that separate winning the regular season and getting home advantage. We will need the same investment into the team if not more from our players and not just our starters but I want to create a team culture where the entire squad from the starters, to role players and training players are all part of the success. Each player from the past will have to continue to improve to keep their spot as we are consistently getting new players and higher quality players at tryouts.
- What are some of the biggest obstacles you will face as a first year Head Coach for BUFC?
Ultimately balancing the role of player and coach. Relationships are very important and keeping a high standard of performance for myself as a player and also knowing when I need to step back and look at the bigger picture of the team. I think Quil who cached previously did a great job of that and the guys know the coach has tough choices to make. I want to respect what has got us the success in the last three years but I don’t want us to relax and think we can roll teams over. Like I said other teams are planning ways to beat us and have gotten better therefore we have to adapt and get better in our weaknesses also. We have had strong showings at the national tournament also therefore we aren’t just preparing to win the wisl hopefully the national tournament also.
- What is one thing you are most excited about the upcoming season?
Just getting back with the lads and into training. During the season especially later in the colder months it’s not the ideal scenario to get out late at night and train but I think it has shown the players who have not missed practices have been our core guys and also the strong culture we have a a team I think stems from a hardworking, motivated group of players. I am excited for the opening game and our first road game. We have some traditions for those and it is great to see the new players adapt into that.