Grassroots & Academy


Mental and physical challenges are part of all modern sport

Demand for our support – particularly in the world of professional football – is driven by the increased expectations placed on young players and academy hopefuls. The overall success rate is disproportionate – very few of these youngsters fully realise the dream that they and their supportive parents hope for. We see our role as being there for players, athletes, and their families and colleagues; to celebrate their successes, support them in picking up the pieces, and keep them focussed on their ambitions and life goals.

Fitness For Football

Fitness for Football offers our clients the best possible football fitness coaching. We nurture natural talent as aspiring players work towards professional level, with a holistic approach to wellbeing and the demands that football academies place on young shoulders.

Now more than ever young people must be prepared for a range of mental and physical challenges that are all part of the modern game.

Why Fitness For Football?

The statistics make uncomfortable reading. For clubs in the Premier League and Football League, approximately 65% of scholars that sign at 18-years-old are ultimately released from their contracts.

Just as worrying are the numbers compiled by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), showing that more than 50% of players who earn full-time contracts aged 18 will not be playing professionally by 21.

This dire fact prompted Gordon Taylor, the Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association, to state: “If it was a university of football, with our success rates we would have been closed down by now – because it’s just not good enough.”

In 1992, when the Premier League began, 71% of players were English. Today that figure is just above 30% and declining.

Howard Wilkinson, the former Technical Director of the Football Association, introduced the academy system in 1998 with the aim of producing an environment where the best young players in the country could thrive. However, speaking in 2008, a decade after his vision had become reality, he was already starting to predict the problems that would face future England managers.

At Richardson Sport, we don’t just focus on the sporting achievements of our clients. We take a more holistic approach to their wellbeing. This is particularly evident with the academy players that we work with. With these players, we construct relationships that last long after their time with us has ended.

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the players and our staff, clubs decide not to award players a scholarship or professional contract. This can be a devastating time for the young men and women (and their wider families) who have invested a great deal in their endeavours.

As they navigate a path through the disappointment, it is not uncommon for players to experience varying levels of depression and other debilitating problems at this point. Very often parents ask our mentors to assist their children through this period. Our duty of care to these players does not end when their football dreams do. To safeguard their futures, we take the time to explore both football and non-football options that are available to them.

At Richardson Sport we strive to be the best coaches, mentors and support network that our valued clients could wish for.

Our Training Sessions

We develop intelligent athletes who can read the game

Our training sessions aim at improving the key performance indicators for every pitch position in football. This includes competent body control in all directions, safe jumping and landing.

We utilise power-developing ballistic movements, such as medicine ball work and joint stabilising and strengthening work, to help try to keep you injury-free. We will also work on your speed development, through the correct technical models for sprinting and plyometric work.


Step 1 Assessment Session

In the absence of any reports from your club, your journey with us will start with an Assessment session.
We will take you through a variety of exercises and drills (movement screens), which analyse how you use your body. These movements are captured using the latest video software to help you see what we see in you. You’ll be able to download and keep the video clips to watch whenever you like, and you’ll receive our feedback verbally following the session.

Step 2 Training Plan

Your training plan will be developed based on what we learnt about you during your Assessment Session. Our programmes are flexible and can be adjusted to meet with the demands your club and/or school place on you.

Step 3 Review

Throughout your time with us, we constantly keep your performance under view. During the season, we’ll get out to watch you play so we can see first-hand how our coaching is translating onto the pitch. Once fixtures are known, please send them over to us, and we’ll put plans in place to attend some of your games.


Our coaching packages start from 13 sessions for £600 and are based on one session per week for the duration of the package.

However, during off-season, some athletes choose to use some of their sessions intensively (usually during the school holidays) and in the lead up to returning to their respective clubs in order to ensure that they #GoBackReady.

Please note you may be asked to adjust your payments to keep them on track with usage if you opt to use some of the sessions in the way described above. There is also the opportunity (availability permitting) to use some of the sessions to work on the player’s footwork and finishing skills outside on the 3G Astro Pitches, or at our outdoor summer venue on a fabulously maintained grass pitch (weather permitting). These sessions must be booked in advance.

See our coaching packages

Get Started

To sign up for one of our 1-2-1 Coaching Packages, please fill in your details on the contact form and a member of our dedicated team will get back to you within 24 hours.

Please note that 24-hours’ notice is required to cancel a pre-booked session. Where no notice is received your session will be marked as “DID NOT SHOW” in our client database.
Other T&Cs apply, these will be sent to you upon receipt of your enquiry to join us.
See our FAQ's


AmandaParent of Academy Player

Thank you, Wayne, for the continued support with Ewan’s sports performance. Your coaching has played a huge part in progressing Ewan’s strength, speed and fitness, so much so that he has been offered a further 2-year contract with a Rochdale Academy. Your sessions push him mentally and physically and he looks forward to getting back to the sessions.

Gary LaverickParent to Academy Player

I couldn't speak more highly of Wayne and the team at Richardson Sport. Not only is he a fantastic coach but a great mentor. He is really passionate about his students and takes time to understand what drives them to make a better athlete. Thank you Wayne and Richardson Sport

StacyParent of Academy Player

My daughter has just started a course of sessions with Wayne, she found the first session really useful. Her exact words were, ‘that you've connected a lot of dots’. She has always been a child that is eager to learn and be the best she can be. So she is really looking forward to working with you and can already see the benefit that you will bring to her football. Thank you.

AdamParent or Academy Player

My son has really enjoyed his sessions at Richardson sport, He has felt very welcome and treated as an athlete, I would like to thank Wayne, Andy and Emma for all there support, for ensuring that his progress and happiness have been central to his achievements.
Since attending Richardson in the last eight months he results have been outstanding." In strength, speed, awareness, and attitude.

RobParent of Academy Player

My son spent around 10 weeks working with Wayne in his football athletic development sessions & loved it. He’s never been blessed with pace but Wayne taught him techniques that gave him the boost that he needed.