Academy Staff Profiles
Founder & Academy Director
Ash set his sights on tackling the lack of opportunity available for gifted young footballers around London to make an impact within the professional game.
He came up with an idea of launching a school of excellence, a centre where the most promising players could fine tune their talents and achieve a better understanding of the game. Within the idea was a plan to help players who were good enough on a pedestal, giving scouts and coaches from professional clubs the chance to see their talents.
After seven years of hard work developing a structure, recruiting the right team and finding sponsorship, the Pro Touch Soccer Academy was born. Speaking on what is without doubt his greatest ever achievement, Ash said: "Coaching and guidance are vital in helping young footballers make it within the professional game.
"I've always wanted to play a part in helping footballers who are good enough get that chance to prove themselves. That is the sole aim of the Pro Touch Soccer Academy."
With the exception of a brief trial at Leyton Orient, Ash never played professional football and was never really given the chance to prove just how good a player he was. Staying close to the game, he turned his attentions towards coaching and managing, taking over the reins at King's Cross United with close friend Will Cave.
Since then he has gone on to accomplish numerous goals within the sport, coaching a host of successful men’s and women’s teams from across London. Among his successes include leading King's Cross Lithgow to a host of top honours around the country, including the prestigious Canary Cup in 2000.
He has also successfully pitted his wits against some of the best young managers from across Europe, securing a hat-trick of bronze medals at the Dana Cup, which was held in Denmark.
During the 1990s Ash coached and assisted some of the most gifted and talented young prospects that Camden and Islington had to offer. They included Abdul Koysor, who enjoyed spells at Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic, Leon Fisher, who played for Watford and England under-17s, and Sam Oji, who has spent time with clubs Arsenal, Birmingham City and Hereford United.
Ash has also played an influential role in the career of Anthony Wordsworth, a gifted young midfielder who is a regularly first-team starter at League One side Colchester United and another young first-team striker Danny Hylton currently at Aldershot Town.
With almost 16 years of experience under his belt, Ash has developed a great understanding of the media world that today's professional footballers are exposed to. His work both on and off the pitch has also merited various media coverage, with BBC, ITV and Channel Four all producing documentaries on his achievements. Ash has received the highest possible praise for all the hard work that he has put in over the years, receiving invites to the Buckingham Palace and No.10 Downing Street, where he met former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Assistant Academy Director
Over the past decade Zahid has become a highly respected and sought after football coach.
Having worked with a number of successful football teams across London, he boasts a vast knowledge of various coaching and training methods, and has also gained valuable experience in major European youth tournaments such as the Dana Cup.
Zahid managed PTSA U18s team, where they had an outstanding season in 2009/10, where the team came 3rd in the Cheshunt Youth Football League.
Outside of football Zahid works as Freelancer Digital Producer with 15 years of experience, working major Blue Chip companies.
Zahid uses his knowledge as a digital producer to keep the Pro Touch Soccer Academy at the forefront of technology, undertaking vital tasks like maintain the website and ensuring that the Soccer Academy continues to reach the widest possible audience.
Zahid, who was the Project Manager for Carlos and Kevin’s winning Dana Cup 2011 in Denmark under 13s team played a key role in making sure everything ran smoothly from game to game.
Zahid is MBA, BSc (Hons) qualified and holds an FA Level Two Coaching Certificate and FA Youth Module 1 & 2. He is due to start his FA Level Three UEFA 'B’ Coaching Certificate and in 2013.
Taff I Rahman
Taff started his journey in football at a very young age; He represented various local Sunday League teams, his school and his district before being selected to play for his country. His skills, determination and belief landed him with a schoolboy contact with Queen’s Park Rangers and later Luton Town FC.
With a clinical eye for goal he was soon making a name for himself within the sport, which resulted in him being snapped up by his boyhood team Arsenal in September 1996.
While playing and training with the Gunners Youth Academy, he was one of ten boys selected to attend Highams Park School, a specialised program designed by Arsenal in a bid to combine player’s education with training. The likes of David Bentley (Tottenham Hotspur and England), Justin Hoyte (Middlesbrough), John Spicer and Ryan Smith were just a few of the names that were involved in this elite development program.
Taff has also been guided by some of the games great players and coaches, including Neil Banfield, Liam Brady, Andy McDermid and former England coach Don Howe.
Taff continued to develop gaining a vast knowledge of the professional game, representing Arsenal at academy, youth and reserves level. During his time at the club he competed in a series of prestigious tournaments across Europe, playing against the likes of FC Bayern Munich, Ajax, Lyon and PSV Eindhoven. Feeling the harsh hand of the beautiful game, Taff was released by Arsenal at end of the 2003 season, as he could not fulfill his potential due to a number of reoccurring injuries.
Where he went on to play in America, before returning to the UK to have trials with Bristol City and Rusden and Diamonds. He opted to sign for Gravesend and Northfleet FC, now known as Blue Square Premier League side Ebbsfleet, Taff has continued to play at semi-professional level.
Taff holds a BA(Hons) in Sports Science and Coaching and has completed his UEFA B Coaching License with the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and is currently completing his UEFA A Coaching License. His also completed his training for the Youth Coaches Award, which is designed for coaches working with elite players within the Professional Academies set-up. He recently founded his very own Coaching to Fitness (C2F-www.coaching2fitness.com) company, specialising in football coaching and fitness within sports.
Taff has been involved in football for the last 15 years and holds a vast amount of in-depth knowledge of the modern day game. Due to his involvement in all different capacities; from his professional playing and coaching background, grassroots football development and football related business. Working with local and global organisations and charities, his personal consultancy service has helped to develop football development and business programs.
Academy Project & & FA Football Agent
Mustapha is known as the “Special One” to his fellow colleagues, a fitting nickname considering his tough and determined climb since the days when he started playing football back in his native Sierra Leone.
Like many kids growing up in Africa in the early 1990s, pursuing a career in football were a “no go” area as there was more emphasis put on education.
When he relocated to England, his father urged him to finish his education and pursue a law degree. After completing a degree in Human Resource Management at the University of Luton, Mustapha was elected as a sabbatical officer (Vice President ‘Education and Representation’) managing the Student Union Advice Centre and providing information and advice to students.
Since joining the PTSA backroom staff in 2007, he has enjoyed great success, winning the One Youth Cup with the Pro Touch Community under-12s and the One Euro Youth Cup with both the under -13s and 15s. Mustapha is an FA Level Two qualified coach and is due to start his FA Level Three UEFA 'B’ Coaching Certificate in 2010.
Having completed and passed he’s Football Association Agent exam in 2009, Mus will join forces with Adam heading the Pro Touch Management Ltd (PTM).
Legal Advisor & FA Football Agent
Adam is a qualified and practising Barrister, having been called to the Bar in 1985.
In the 1980’s,
Adam played for Ryman League Premier Division side Wingate and Finchley FC, where he was presented with the Young Player of the Year Award in 1982.
Adam was a member of the Sports Disputes Resolution Panel, the professional body charged with conducting the Football Association Disciplinary Tribunals.
He is now a registered lawyer with the Football Association and also works part time as a football agent, helping to protect the interests of PTSA players in professional football.
Adam played a key role in negotiating the contracts for Ex. PTSA youngsters Eurico Sebastiao and Jordan Samuels-Palmer to Nottingham Forest FC, with the duo signing to Pro Touch Management in early 2011.
Academy Co-odinator U13-U16
Tony has played nearly all sports, achieving mostly from football and basketball.
He started coaching football by showing his son the basics of goalkeeping. Noticing that his guidance helped his son, it gave Tony the incentive to coach other youths.
Tony started at Norseman FC and Edmonton all saints with these teams playing in Enfield; this is where he started on his coaching badges.
Tony then went to Fitzrovia youth in Action, where he begun football coaching and being a youth worker. He coached from ages 8-18, the teams played in various five aside and eleven a side leagues and tournaments. Tony has helped the youths volunteer and take part in the Camden Unity Cup, which he has been coaching for the past 6 years.
Tony started the first Futsal league in Camden, (The Camden Futsal League); this introduced a new and skilful use of the ball in a very fast game. Coaching Futsal teams in Enfield and Camden, he has been able to take a girl’s team to The FA Futsal youth championship in Sheffield. Tony’s managed the U14/15s in the Camden & Islington Midweek League 2010-11 season, which won the League Cup and ended the season joint 3rd overall.
Tony holds an UEFA 'B' Licence, but also qualified as a Boxing Tutor and Leadership Award, Sports leadership Tutor Award Level One and 2, FA Goalkeeping and the FA Futsal.
Head of Fitness, Mentor & Personal Trainer
Joe started his football journey playing with Queen's Park Rangers at the age of 13. After an impressive debut season, he became hot property and was offered a schoolboy contract at a host of top clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Charlton Athletic and Leyton Orient.
After much thought and deliberation he decided to join Wimbledon FC, now known as the MK Dons, where he played until he was released at 17. Joe continued to try and make it in the professional ranks by joining Leyton Orient on a pay-as-you-play contract, before moving to semi-professional side Wingate and Finchley.
With his dream fast turning into a nightmare, Joe was forced to take drastic action and decided a career change was the best solution. He turned to education, achieving a diploma in sports science.
Now working as a health and fitness consultant, Joe teaches in various gyms, offering a range of different classes including circuit work, body conditioning and aerobics.
Joe has survived the darker side of football and gone on to enjoy a successful career within the fitness industry, becoming a beacon of hope to all the young players at the Pro Touch Soccer Academy.
Joe managed one of the U11s team in the Dana Cup 2011, which reached the Semi-Final of the international tournament. He’s side lost 2-0 to St Pauli, a German professional team but were unlucky not to progress into the Final. However Joe made he’s mark by securing bronze medal for he’s first managerial experience, with many more success to follow years to come.
Joe is an FA Level Two qualified coach and is due to start his UEFA 'B' Licence this year..
Joe's most career highlight was one, when he become one of Islington's Torch Bearer's for London 2012 Olympic games, a lasting lifetime memory and experience.
Community Sports Coach
Maxwell has always shown a great passion for football.
Max has represented a few Sunday and mid-week league football teams including Tufnell Park FC and played football at various levels. Incorporating a beautiful touch, defence splitting pace, excellent vision and awareness and good level of teamwork ethics, which resulted in him being talent scouted and invited to trial at Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC and then eventually signing schoolboy professional contract for Millwall FC.
Max continued to develop and gain knowledge of the professional game representing Millwall at youth and academy level. Due to off-the-pitch constraints Max had to leave Millwall FC, which disheartened him.
However Max has joint PTSA to lend his experience and knowledge of the game and most importantly to re-invest within the community to help bring out our young talents best abilities.
Max has completed his FA Level 1 and is concentrating on gaining his FA Level 2 qualification later this year.
Senior Community & Academy Goalkeeping Coach
Sam is one of our youngest coaches, and is already building a glittering career.
Combining his desire to play with his love of teaching, the talented goalkeeper continually swaps his No.1 jersey for a tracksuit as he coaches young hopefuls at a grassroots community level while also playing for our under-18s team, where he had an outstanding season in 2009/10, where the team came 3rd in the Cheshunt Youth League.
In the previous four years Sam was part of the Dana Cup coaching and management teams, assisting and delivering the goal keeping coaching programmes for all the goal keepers travelling with the teams.
Sam holds an FA Level Two Coaching Certificate and is due to start his FA Level Two Goal Keeping Coaching Certificate in 2011.
Krasimir Korsachki (Kris)
Academy Head Coach
Kris is originally from Bulgaria, he arrived in London in 2010.
Kris was playing in Hackney and Leyton Sunday League for one season. He started his FA coaching badges and also started coaching U11 and U16 for Junior Reds FC. He now holds a FA Level 2 badge
Kris joined PTSA in June 2012, he found the professional style of coaching which was in line with his Philsophy on football and he looking forward to reaching more challenges and opportunity with PTSA.
Nedim is a London based Fashion/Portrait photographer, who takes and artist and documentary approach to Fashion through the way people live.
Graduating from London College of Fashion in 2008, he pursued his career freelance in the fashion industry collaborating with various Magazines and Designers as well as working in advertising for the likes of The Metropolitan Police, Sainsbury’s and Samsung.
Nedim was introduced to PTSA through the Designers from the brand GIAROYE, whom sponsor PTSA. His first involvement with PTSA began when documenting the journey of Dana Cup International Soccer Tournament in July 2010, capturing the PTSA matches as well as the mood and essence of the experience for the young players during the trip to Denmark.
Through this he has gained a good relationship with PTSA and is now on board as the Director of Photography for the Academy, to help increase a memorable experience to the community and the young players with aspirations including our young schoolboy professional footballers - www.nedimnazerali.com .
Shaub got involved with PTSA in 2009 after editing the Dana Cup 2008 in Denmark and has since then familiarised himself with the academy set up. His involvement with creations of visuals, story boards, editing for the charity called Restlessbeings.org has enabled him to expand into PTSA and help with the creative aspects for the academy and bring them to the forefront of video production.
Shaub grew up with some of the PTSA staff and played various local teams, which started his passion for football and everything associated with it.
Since then Shaub has moved on and freelances as an offline editor/motion graphics designer and also works for a prestigious post production house and has many years of experience in offline editing/motion graphics design.
Most of Shaub’s spare time is spent doing offline editing/motion graphics design for PTSA and Restless beings.
Shaub has a BSc (Hons) is Software Systems for the Arts and Media.
Shaub is the founder of Sweet Mate Production - www.sweetmateproductions.com
Community Sports & Assistant Academy Coach
Jahandar known to all as 'John’, grew up in Iran. John started playing football from a young age like many others, as he grew up, he played at an amateur level.
At the age of 17 he had an opportunity to have a three week trial with an Iranian professional team from league Division One, unfortunately due to family circumstances, he was unable to attend. At the age of 18, he entered into National Military service, while he did his National service, John played for one of the top military team’s in Iran.
John at the age of 25 came to England but he felt he had no football experience within the English game but since he had a love for the game, he wanted to find his past in the game as a coach.
John at the end of 2010 set himself a goal that within five years he will be hold a UEFA Pro Licence Badge and work for a top senior team in the world. John is aware that this will be a long journey, with lots of hard work and John knows he will get there.
In March 2011 John gained his FA Level 1 coaching badge in Football and in November 2011 John gained his FA Level 2 coaching Badge in football, with these qualifications he is another step closer to his goal.
Working with all the PTSA coaches has given John more confidence and allowed him to grow as a coach. John’s has a philosophy of playing at high intensity, with press game and playing the game at pace, very much in Harry Rednapp style, even though John is a Chelsea fan!
John is due to start his UEFA 'B’ coaching badge in 2012
Academy Head Coach
Frank is a new addition to our coaching team after working with our Director of Coaching & Development Taff Rahman for the last few months at Coaching 2 Fitness.
Frank, 19, is a FA Level Two qualified and is part of the Arsenal In The Community set up as well as taking a Degree in Football and Community Coaching at London Metropolitan University.
Having always had a love for football, Frank turned his attention to coaching at the age of 16 after a career as a goalkeeper failed to progress due to a knee ligament injury. Once qualified as a level one coach Frank took a job at Peter Hucker Soccer School in East London where he previously played, establishing himself as a coach respect by, players, parents and fellow coaches alike. He still continues to do work for this organisation.
Throughout his coaching career Frank has coached players from as young a 2 all the way through to 18 year olds and in 2009 became Assistant manager of the Clapton FC U16 who play in the Eastern Junior Alliance helping them gain a very respectable 4th place finish.
By joining the PTSA coaching staff Frank hopes pass on what his has learnt through his 14 year career in football to the future generation of players as well as adding to his own technical knowledge and understanding of academy football helping him progress up the coaching ladder
Sports Rehabilitation Therapist
Bing as he's known to many at the Academy is a Qualified Physiotherapist of China;
HABC Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF);FA Qualified Level 7 Junior County Referee.
Awarded BSc degree in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2007 from SunYat-sen University, China.
Currently doing Masters in Sports Rehabilitation and Therapy at London Metropolitan University.
Bing was the physiotherapist-in-charge at the Sports Medicine Department of Peking University Third Hospital. Focusing on the management (assessment, treatment and prevention) of musculoskeletal injuries and postsurgical rehabilitation [major in knee (ACL, PCL, MCL, meniscus), ankle, and shoulder surgery].
Bing was chosen as a supervisor physiotherapist to work in the National ‘Birdnest’ Stadium, during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Being has has written in the following publicationswhile working as a physiotherapist:
- ‘Analysis of Individual Living Abilities and the Status of Social Participation of the People with Kashin-Beck Disease in Mao County Aba Region Sichuan Province’ Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2010, Volume 25(10)
-‘Presurgical and Postsurgical Rehabilitation Guidelines for the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury’ Chinese General Practice, 2008, Volume 11(10C)
- Book Compilation ‘Clinical Rehabilitation for Orthopaedics’
- Book Translation ‘Postsurgical Rehabilitation Guidelines for the Orthopaedic Clinician’ written by Hospital for Special Surgery
His real passion is to work in football dreaming to be a physio of a famous football club. In 2012 participated in the pre-season injury screening programme (2012-13 season) for Arsenal Football Club (first team and the academy).