Pre-season interview 4: Paul Nicholson (CDL FC)

Pre-season interview 4: Paul Nicholson (CDL FC)

The fourth Dutch Lions FC Head Coach we interviewed in our pre-season series is Paul Nicholson. After an impressive playing career including two years with FC Cincinnati, Paul is the new Head Coach of Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC.


Who is Paul Nicholson?

My name is Paul Nicholson, I am from Whitehaven, England. I moved to America in 2005 on a soccer scholarship at the University of Rio Grande, OH. After my college playing career I did two years of coaching for the University whilst obtaining my Master’s degree and playing PDL in the summer with West Virginia Chaos (‘09) and GPS Portland Phoenix (‘10). I then moved to North Carolina to play professionally for Wilmington Hammerheads in USL PRO. I played and coached for the club between 2011 and 2015. After that I moved to FC Cincinnati where I played for the last two years before retiring after the 2017 season. I am also currently coaching for Kings Hammer Soccer Club and Kentucky ODP.


Who else is on your coaching staff?

I am extremely fortunate to have a great coaching staff in place for my first year here at the club. Each one of the coaches bring so much to the table from their own experiences in the game. Brandon Ponchak (Assistant Coach and Goalkeeper coach) brings eight years of college coaching experience and 5 years working in the USL at Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) and Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO). 2017 was Brandon’s first year working with CDLFC. Terry Nicholl (Coach) has been with the club since its inception four years ago and was the Head Coach from 2014-16. Terry had an incredible playing career making over 180 Football League appearances in England including time in the top flight with Sheffield United. He moved to America to play professional indoor soccer and following his retirement in 1986 he started his coaching career. He’s coached at many different levels from professional indoor (Wichita Wings), to local club soccer here in Cincinnati with CUP and KHA. Jack Hermans (Coach) is another coach who has been with the club since the beginning.Jack is a former professional player from Holland and was the former Head Coach of the Xavier University Men's soccer team. Jack currently trains many clubteams and was also the Assistant Coach for the Dayton Dutch Lions USL PRO team from 2011-2015. He is also a game analyst for FC Cincinnati.


What conference do you play in the 2018 season? What is your analysis of the teams in the conference?

We play in the Great Lakes Conference. This year sees a change with KW United dropping out of the PDL and Lansing United (formerly NPSL) taking their spot. It’s a very competitive conference with all teams fighting to make the playoffs. Michigan Bucks are historically very strong and will probably be the team to beat.


What are your expectations for the 2018 season?

My expectations are to compete for a playoff spot in a very strong conference. Getting back into the historic US Open cup would be a huge step in the right direction for the club as well.


How do you feel about the roster you have out together for the 2018 season?

I am very happy about the roster we’ve put together. All the players are coming in from successful teams and I feel we have a good mix of youth and experience. There will be a lot of competition within the squad and I’m excited to see the guys challenge each other throughout the season.


When is the opening game at home and why should people come and watch the team?

The opening game is on May 20thagainst Lansing United, 4pm kick-off at Northern Kentucky University. Going to any Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC soccer game is a very family friendly and affordable experience. Watching the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC is a great way to interact with the next wave of professional soccer players in this country. Just stop by our webstore for great deals on CDL FC ticket packages and merchandise! (


We wish Paul and his staff all the best in the upcoming season!