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Flash Names Colin Clarke as New Head Coach; 1986 Northern Ireland World Cup Performer Brings a Winning Record to San Diego.

Business Editors and Sports Writers

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 30, 1999

The back-to-back Pacific Division Champion San Diego Flash today announced that it has hired Colin Clarke as the club's new head coach.

Clarke, who becomes the fourth coach in the club's history, replacing the departed Papo Santos, will assume his duties and name his staff immediately for the upcoming 2000 season. As per club policy, details of the two-year contract will not be disclosed.

After an extensive local and nationwide search, Flash General Manager Sam Kaloustian and President Yan Skwara decided on the quality resume of Clarke, who holds an FA (British) coaching badge and a USSF "A" coaching license.

"Colin's playing resume speaks for itself, and, as a coach, he has done extremely well. He brings an intensity and a technical philosophy to the position that we were looking for. After meeting with him, I knew that he was the right man for the job. He is a proven winning coach in the A-League, and we look forward toward developing a long-term relationship with him," stated Kaloustian.

Clarke, 37, comes to San Diego with an international pedigree. He represented the Northern Ireland National Team from 1986 to 1993. In his 41 appearances, he scored 14 goals, including one in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Clarke played from 1981 to 1993 in the English Leagues with six different teams, including Portsmouth (First Division), Southampton (Premier) and Queens Park Rangers (Premier). During his 12-year career, he played in 361 English League matches and tallied 146 goals.

In 1998 after coaching on different levels of soccer, Clarke was named as the head coach of the A-League Richmond Kickers. In two seasons he guided the Kickers to a 38-18 regular season record and two playoff appearances and an Atlantic Division championship in 1998. Clarke was also selected to coach at the Umbro Select/MLS Combine in January 1999.

Clarke, a Newry, Northern Ireland native, said from his Virginia home: "I am excited about coming to San Diego. The Flash is a young franchise, but it has achieved tremendous results in a short time. I have been impressed with the club's management, and I look forward to working with a good group of players to continue to build on the tradition of winning in San Diego."

Clarke is expected to arrive in San Diego on Jan. 11 for media interviews and to prepare for the club's open tryout on Jan. 15 and 16.

Kaloustian will work closely with Clarke on player personnel. "We have an established nucleus of players that will blend well with the potential players that he might bring to training camp. We are on the same page as regards to player personnel, and we will work well together," said Kaloustian.

Clarke replaces Santos, whose contract was not renewed for the 2000 season. Santos finished with a 20-8 regular season record and took the club to its second consecutive Western Conference Finals appearance in 1999.

Skwara remarked: "We have had successes in the past, and we are grateful for the hard work that was put in to getting us to this point. However, we felt as an organization that we needed to make a change to keep pace."
Clarke's Coaching Career:
Club Year Reg. Playoffs
Richmond '99 17-11 0-1
Richmond '98 21-7 0-2
Totals 38-18 0-3

Clarke's Playing Career
Club Year Matches Goals
Portsmouth '90-'93 57 17
QPR '89-'90 39 11
Southampton '86-'89 82 36
Bournmouth '85-'86 56 35
Tranmere '84-'85 51 29
Peterborough '81-'84 76 18
Totals 361 146

Flash Coaching Register
Coach Year Exhibition A-League Playoff USOC Overall
Papo Santos '99 0-3-3 20-8 3-2 1-1 24-14-3
Costa Skouras '98 0-3-0 13-2 3-2 0-0 16-7-0
Ralf Wilhelms '98 1-4-1 8-5 0-0 0-0 9-9-1
Totals 1-10-4 41-15 6-4 1-1 49-30-4


San Diego, entering its third A-League season, will begin defense of its consecutive Pacific Division championships in April 2000. The complete Flash schedule is due for release in early January. For season ticket information, contact the Flash Soccer House at 858/581-2120 or www.sdflash.com.

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Date:Dec 30, 1999
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