Antony Penna manages his many duties associated with the 54 teams in Storm FC as deftly as a seasoned juggler tossing tennis balls. What does Penna do? What doesn’t he do?
Name: Antony Penna
Site: Kernow Storm Futbol FC
Position: Owner, Director of Soccer Operations, Coach, Webmaster
Background: Penna grew up in the rural Cornwall region of England, located on the United Kingdom’s far southwestern tip. He said it would take him 40 minutes to walk home from school (but does NOT claim it was uphill both ways), giving him plenty of time to kick around a soccer ball with his buddies. “We didn’t even play organized soccer until we were 8 or 9,” said Penna, who has lived in the U.S. for almost two decades but still speaks with a thick Cornish accent. When Penna sensed his pro soccer playing days were coming to a close, he immediately shifted into his coaching career. He got his first big taste of America in the early 2000s when a friend invited him to come help coach the old Dallas Burn franchise in Major League Soccer. Penna liked the Dallas area so much he decided to live and coach there full time, and he earned a degree in sports science and coaching (to go with his degree in electromechanical engineering). With visa in hand, he settled in Dallas permanently and started Storm Futbol in 2004 with just three teams.
What he does: These days Penna manages his many duties associated with the 54 teams in Storm FC as deftly as a seasoned juggler tossing tennis balls. What does Penna do? What doesn’t he do? Penna’s first love is coaching, and he leads as many as seven of the Storm’s teams at a time. He runs camps and clinics. He shares all the administrative duties with one full-time employee. And he manages the website. Before partnering with SportsEngine, Penna was building and maintaining his websites himself. “I had to go in and keep re-writing code,” Penna said. “It was a pain in the rear end.” Penna has been live on the SportsEngine platform for about six months, and he’s been especially happy with both the website’s design and the functionality of the mobile app. “I think the purpose of the website has changed over the years,” Penna said. “It used to be that people would only go to it in May and June when looking for a new club. We are now more in tune with keeping it up to date and using it to direct people to our social channels.” Penna creates all the graphics used on the site using CorelDRAW.
Making his mark: Penna’s Hall of Fame & Alumni page lists basic bio information and a sentence or two describing the inductees from each Hall class going back to 2012.
Fun fact: Storm Futbol has its headquarters in the southern Dallas/Fort Worth suburb of Waxahachie, uses facilities throughout the metro area and even has expanded north into Pennsylvania. Penna said he has not set a goal regarding how big he’d like to see the faith-based club grow. “It’s not just a case of adding teams,” Penna said. “ Now it’s a case of, ‘Do you fit?’ ”