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Lightning Soccer Club

Our Favorite People

Meet our Staff

We are here to provide you and your family with the best youth soccer experience possible! We are proud to bring you a group of highly accomplished coaches and administrators. Read the bios below to learn more about your coach and other leaders in our community.

 Michael Cockroft, Director of Coaching

Michael originally arrived from England in 2000, after earning his BA in Sports Management, and playing soccer for 3 years at Leeds Metropolitan University.  During his time in England he coached local teams, and earned his UEFA B license.  Since his time in the US, Michael has completed all 3 NSCAA License, including the top coaching certificate and gained the NSCAA Premier in 2008.  Along with this, Michael also has his USSF B license, and earned his A license at the Real Salt Lake Academy in Casa Grande AZ in January 2013.  Michael has also attended the NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, USSF National Youth license, and has helped as a regional staff coach for the NSCAA. Michael currently resides in Chicago with his wife Sabrina, son Luca, and still enjoys playing soccer, golf, working out and following his beloved Newcastle united.

Payton Chitwood
A native of Ohio, Payton was a four year starter at Trinity International University.  Payton worked for OnGoal Soccer during his college years.  Payton is a currently a coach for Trinity International's Mens team.  After college, Payton and his wife Niki were involved in several soccer camps.  Payton was also a personal trainer working primarily with camps and one-on-one training.  Payton recently achieved his USSF C license, in addition to holding his National youth license.. 
   Dave Hart
Dave has been coaching soccer for over twenty-three years.  He holds a USSF B Coaching License.  Dave has been very active in coaching in the local community.  He has worked with several local soccer clubs as well as Palatine and Grayslake High school Varsity Soccer.  Dave has also committed his time to the Prairie State Olympic team for both men’s and women’s teams as an assistant coach.  In addition to coaching, Dave has twenty-two years of teaching experience at both the High School and Middle School levels in the area of students with Behavioral/Emotional disorders.


Chad Springetti
A native of Arizona, Chad was a four-year starter at Trinity International University from which he graduated in 2015. Chad spent several seasons working with Lincolnshire Lightning during college as well as working for several other soccer camps. Currently Chad is continuing his pursuit of soccer both as a player and coach. Chad holds a USSF "E" coaching license as well as a USSF Grade 8 referee license. He has a love and passion for the game that he hopes to instill with each of his players.

  Max Perry
Max graduated from University of Central Lancashire with a Bachelors degree in Sports Coaching.  He holds his English Football Association Level 2 coaching badge, and was assistant coach for Preston North End Ladies U-18 for the 2011-12 season.  Max played for the same club for all his life aside from one season where he joined a semi-pro outfit call Bamber Bridge.  After moving to the States, he has worked 4 seasons as a coach in New England and Chicago area, and is now a qualified Personal Trainer

   Brad Earnest
Brad currently lives in Zion, IL with his family (proud father of a 4 year old daughter.  He has been varsity soccer coach at Zio Benton Township High School for 5 years.  Brad played (and started) for 2 years at Robert Morris University then transferred and played 2 years at Trinity International University.  He won 2007 USCAA national championship with Robert Morris.  Brad enjoys anything about soccer, whether that is playing, watchor or coaching.
   Vlatko Minic
Vlatko  has over 25 years of experience as a player, coach or Director.  As a player he was a 3 time first team all conference in high school at Mary D Bradford High School, played at University of Wisconsin and was part of the building block that helped the Badgers win the National Title in 1995.  He continued playing professionally for the Milwaukee Rampage and the Pittsburgh Stingers.  He began his coaching career as assistant coach for the UW Parkside women's program, was co-founder of the Red Star SC in Wisconsin, and was Director of the TCSA Premier program in Illinois.  Vlatko currently holds his National D Coaching license.  Vlatko was a 7 letter varsity High School winner in soccer. tennis, basketball and wresling.
These days he enjoys playing tennis with his wife Nina and playing soccer with their four kids
Vuk, Anastasija, Viktorija and Petar.



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Lightning Soccer Club

P.O. Box 286, Lincolnshire IL 60069

Email Us: [email protected]
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