A Brief History of Smart Soccer

A 30+ year legacy of training youth soccer players in Eastern PA and NJ...

In 1987 Neil M. Smart moved from England to the USA and, with the support of his beautiful wife Bonnie, founded a professional soccer coaching and training organization, Smart Soccer International Inc.

Neil is a native of Barrow-in-Furness, a major footie (soccer) hotbed situated in Cumbria in the scenic North West of England. In addition to playing the game at a high level Neil's 30+ year career has been as a teacher and professional soccer coach. Over the years tens of thousands of youth soccer players, not to mention volunteer club coaches, have been involved in his Smart Soccer training programs and camps.


Bonnie Smart

As mentioned above Neil's wife Bonnie was a constant 'behind the scenes machine' in the growth and development of the Smart Soccer program. Although devastated by his wife's passing in 2017 Neil is proud of the teamwork and partnership that he and Bonnie shared, a passion that nurtured the success and longevity of the Smart Soccer program.

Without question Bonnie's professional legacy is that she was instrumental in the evolution of Smart Soccer, a program that helped so many young soccer players have FUN, develop skills and learn positive qualities such as leadership and teamwork.

"When I met Bonnie in 1986 she had never kicked a ball, within two weeks I was setting her up to score goals at the numerous coaches clinics I was running at various soccer communities in PA, NJ and Washington DC. Her love and enthusiasm for the game was immediate and during that time I nicknamed her 'Boniek' after the famous Polish player who had just competed in the 1986 World Cup. Over time Bonnie became a passionate and knowledgable soccer fan, supporting Man UTD and England (my influence of course!) and famously, and successfully, 'stalking' many world class players at many games we attended over the years, the photos of Bonnie with all of these famous players coming soon!

What this illustrates is that whatever event or activity Bonnie undertook in her life she did it with an epic level of contagious enthusiasm, soccer was no exception!


A summary of some of Neil's soccer career highlights

  • His high school team won over 75 consecutive games over a 5 year period!
  • Captain of his u19 county (state) soccer team
  • Played against the US National Team (1990)
  • Played in the US Open Cup Final (1993)
  • Professional player with (and captained) the Philadelphia Freedom
  • Member of teams that have won the state Open & Amateur Cups numerous times
  • Winner of the over 30 state cup with 3 different teams
  • Winner of juggling competition at NSCAA Convention: 20 minutes / 2,000 juggles!!


Neil also:


  • Taught for 10 years as a full time PE / Health teacher at the Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill
  • Has professional coaching licenses from both the UK & USA
  • Has coached tens of thousands of youth players (and coaches) since the inception of Smart Soccer in 1987
  • Ran in the famous Keswick to Barrow 40 mile event and finished! (this was in his younger days!)
  • Had his Smart Soccer shirt appear in an edition of The Rolling Stone magazine!














Rolling Stone Magazine 2001
Kristiaan Webb of The Webb Brothers wearing his

Smart Soccer shirt
Kristiaan obviously has great taste and good fashion sense!


Smart Soccer International Inc 


For over 30 years Smart Soccer has provided professional camps, clinics and training to hundreds of soccer clubs and communities. Over time the company has evolved into a year round training resource for a select number of longstanding partners overseeing programs for beginners, all ages of recreational player, travel teams and club coaches.

We hope you enjoyed reading a little bit of Smart Soccer history and thank-you for visiting our website.


Smart Soccer • PO Box 144, Warrington PA
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