Interview – Patrick Dicks

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by Patrick Dicks, the Manager of Sports Business Development at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida and the son of the legendary Bristol City manager Alan Dicks, to discuss his incredible journey.

Icebreaker:

As Patrick has worked at Disney within the sporting realm for many years now, the group each name their favorite fictional sporting characters from the world of film.

On Bristol City and Patrick’s Youth:

Patrick Dicks grew up in Bristol as the son of Alan Dicks, who when Patrick was young, used to manage local club Bristol City. During Patrick’s childhood his father got the Robins promoted to the top flight of English football and the club would narrowly avoid relegation the following season; Patrick was a fly on the wall in the dressing room throughout the momentous ride.

Patrick, a keen footballer, was told by his father that he wasn’t good enough to become a professional player. This rejection was coupled with further dismay for Patrick, as he was promptly sent off to a boarding school where they didn’t even play football.

On Moving to Florida and Disney:

Still in high school, Patrick got the chance to move to the East coast of the United States to attend school and live in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This came as the unexpected salvation that Patrick had been craving. He was able to play “soccer” (and excel, given the relative level of youth players in America at the time) daily and achieve on the academic front too.

After college years in Alabama and getting a start working in the sports scene, Patrick met with Reggie Williams at Disney to discuss the role at Disney’s (now known as ESPN) Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Both Reggie and Patrick share the same passion for extending the best sporting opportunities to young people and this was something that convinced Patrick to come on board at Disney. In this role he would develop the Disney Soccer Showcase, a youth soccer tournament that would become the premier event of its kind in the country.

On Orlando City SC and Soccer in America:

Besides Bristol City and Tottenham Hotspur, Patrick is a fan of local side Orlando City SC. He gives his take on the impact that the club has had within the Orlando sports community, as well as his thoughts on the benefits and the negatives of designated players and the MLS salary cap.

As somebody who plans tournaments professionally, Patrick explains what goes into hosting a successful one and shares his opinion on what the upcoming 2026 World Cup may be able to do for soccer in the United States.

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