CARY, NC (June 15, 2022) – The North Carolina Football Club today announced that Head Coach John Bradford has signed a multi-year contract extension.
“I’m excited to continue in this role and feel fortunate for the support from the club,” Bradford said. “I want to thank the NCFC front office and ownership, particularly Steve Malik and Curt Johnson, for their continued support and belief in our club’s unique vision. I also want to thank the leadership of NCFC Youth, particularly Gary Buete, Paul Forster, and our Board, for the ability to coexist in both the youth and the professional sides of our club.”
“In John’s 15 years with our club, he has been one of the key leaders in the creation of our youth to pro player development pathway,” said Chief Soccer Officer Curt Johnson. “He’s a passionate, detail-oriented coach that is equally adept at developing young players and meshing them with experienced pros. In his time managing the first team, he’s done a fantastic job of increasing the talent pool within our group, and has provided opportunities for young players while at the same time winning and playing attractive, possession-oriented soccer. We are thrilled to extend John’s contract and look forward to supporting him as we all work to build the best possible development environment for our players while winning trophies.”
Now in his third season with North Carolina FC and his second as the team’s head coach, Bradford holds a unique role that involves working with the club’s first team while overseeing the development of the club’s top youth players. The Winston-Salem native is a true link in NCFC’s youth-to-pro pipeline, directing the NCFC Academy and serving as the technical director of North Carolina FC U23 of USL League Two. Bradford holds an Academy Directors license and a USSF A license, and has also earned Director of Coaching and Premier Coaching diplomas with United Coaches. From 2016 to 2019, he spent time as an assistant coach with the U16 and U17 US Soccer Youth National Teams.
This season, Bradford has led the North Carolina side to a 4-3-2 record, making several key player acquisitions in the offseason and into preseason to compete for position at the top of the table, among these new signings are Raheem Somersall, Jordan Skelton, Oalex Anderson, Gustavo Fernandes, Garrett McLaughlin, Jaden Servania, Showkat Tahir and Christian Lue Young, all of whom have become integral components of NCFC’s success this year.
The Furman University alum also inked several players to new contracts ahead of this year, including Max Flick, Pecka, Luis Arriaga, and El Salvadorian internationals Nelson Flores Blanco and Nelson Martinez, building a strong core of returners. Last year, Bradford signed three NCFC Academy players to professional contracts with the first team – among these players Nicholas Holliday, Cole Frame, and Britton Fischer – continuing to play an integral role in their development, exposure, and advancement to the next level in their playing careers.
“Our goal is to deliver a highly competitive professional soccer team that also provides a fantastic development platform for talented players of different ages and stages of their careers,” Bradford continued. “Providing these development opportunities for players is something I’m extremely passionate about and the model we are creating at North Carolina FC is special to be a part of. I’m thrilled to see the growth of our First Team and Academy Program and am determined to continue working with our great staff and players going forward. I also want to thank our fans and community for their continued support of North Carolina FC and our players. We will continue to give everything we have for the club and appreciate the opportunity to do so.”
Last week, Bradford was recognized as the USL League One Coach of the Month, having collected the greatest number of points and wins of any team in the league during the month of May by defeating FC Tucson, Greenville Triumph SC, and the Richmond Kickers and concluding the month at second place in the table. Six players received Team of the Week honors throughout the month, with two also earning a nomination for Player of the Month. This marks Bradford’s second time receiving Coach of the Month honors, first receiving the accolade in July 2021.