The IASA difference!

The Academic & Coaching Credentials of ALL Staff

Our Promise and Commitment to all our students:

All coaching staff in the academy will hold both a UEFA “A” license and an Undergraduate Academic Degree to ensure your total success in the classroom and on the field.


Academy Staff

Joel Roberts MSc, BSc (Hons), Program Director.

PGCE, UEFA “A’ License, FA Academy Manager's License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma


As Program Director, Joel will direct the UDA Soccer Academy coaching staff and its operation, overseeing its playing philosophy and providing opportunities for players to fulfill their potential through the training and games program.


As a UEFA ‘A’ licensed coach, FA qualified Academy Manager and Lecturer in Sport who has built a broad range of senior experience through various roles in football and education in both the UK and the USA, Joel will work directly with our US based staff to add real value to the student experience both on and off the field.


Joel holds both a Master’s Degree in Sporting Directorship and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science and his credentials will ensure that UDA students reach their optimal potential and ensure the program meets student’s expectations with respect to their overall experience.​


Having worked within the Academy programs of Fulham FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC, in addition to his role as the Assistant Head Coach of the England Women u23 National Team, Joel has an extensive knowledge of the player development process and currently works as a Senior Scout for a professional club in the English Premier League.

Jon David McCarthy B.Sc Head of Coaching

Jon is UEFA “A” Licensed Coach, Former International player for Northern Ireland with over 450 football league appearances at the professional club level. Former manager at Chester FC.

As Head of Coaching Jon will lead on the delivery of all practical sessions, with a focus on
individual and team development, and manage the UDA Academy team on match-days.

A UEFA “A” Licensed Coach, and former professional player at football league
clubs such as Birmingham City, Port Vale and York City, Jon gained 18 international caps for Northern Ireland. Jon is currently Assistant Manager of National League North side Southport FC, he also has managerial experience from his time with Chester FC during which he oversaw the development of several young players, including Sam Hughes now of Leicester City FC in the Premier League.

As a former professional payer, who holds a degree in Sports Science and has several
years’ experience as an educator, he understands the importance of academics in the lives
of students and what it takes to succeed both in the classroom and on the field.

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Richard Donnelly, M.Sc

UEFA Qualfied License. Former Pre Academy Coach at Manchester United FC

Richard, was a pre academy coach at Manchester United FC for 15 years before being appointed, by Nicky Butt, to Manchester United pre academy as Manager. 

Richard has worked with players such as Marcus Rashford and Jessie Lingard at the Manchester United Academy. He holds a Masters in Applied Sports Science and is a Coach Educator.

Additionally Richard acts as a consultant for both the English and Welsh FA in a number of different roles including Scouting and the delivery of Medical and Safeguarding qualifications. He has also experience working in the USA as an ODP and Select Club coach

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Gaynor Crompton

Student Support Officer - UDA Soccer at Chester

Gaynor Crompton, Student Support Officer. Gaynor will act as a liaison between the academy program and the staff at the University of Chester. 

Gaynor’s professional credentials and training will add greater value and support to the overall student experience from enrollment to graduation. 
Gaynor has extensive experience in Higher Education management making her the perfect fit for the program.  She is the Director and Owner of First Priority Training and Consulting Services, which specializes in accredited and bespoke First Aid, Safeguarding and Health and Safety courses. Gaynor is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the FA Northern Premier League Football Academy. 

Gaynor has extensive experience across a number of platforms that includes staff development, monitoring examinations, staff training, quality assurance processes, and as a Senior Administrator within the Cheshire Judicial system.

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