Grassroots & Academy


This is training and then some

We’ll help you and your young athlete navigate the world of professional sports performance.

We prepare Grassroots and Academy level athletes for what’s to come in the pursuit of their professional sports career dream

We coach and mentor young aspiring players to become competent and confident in the execution of key athletic skills, skills that are needed in order to cope with the many demands placed on their young shoulders.

Mentoring takes place during and outside of the physical sessions (where required) to provide advice, guidance, and support to young athletes and their parents on every aspect of a player’s journey. We provide real actionable steps to take in order to resolve the many challenges parents and players find themselves dealing with.

Transitioning from Grassroots to Academy Football is a BIG step. Boys and girls mature at different rates, some breeze through and others struggle. Getting to grips with the routine (it can feel like you’ve got a full-time pro in the house already) and training load alongside school/homework,  oh and still being a kid and wanting (& often not being able) to have fun with their friends on their only day/night off is hard to adjust to, it takes huge commitment and focus from the player and parent alike.

The advice we give covers many aspects of human performance, we talk about things like Attitude, Biomechanics,  Sleep, Nutrition, Injury Management, Rehabilitation, and Career plans; Where detailed specific advice is required, we work with a handful of trusted professionals in their field who we call upon when needed.

Our parents know that having someone independent to talk to, who understands the path parents and young athletes are on, is a huge help.

Read our Why?

Our Training Sessions

We develop the athletic skills required for success in the modern 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.

The majority of our physical training sessions take place at our home venue The National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester, the center provides us with the very latest technology and equipment required to provide you and your athlete with the best possible experience.

In the summer months there is the option to take what we’ve coached in the gym and put it into practice on the pitch working on football-specific conditioning, shooting, and finishing or defending skills. These sessions take place at either Sportcity or Ten Acres Sports Complex on 3G.

In our opinion, Richardson Sport seems to have filled a vital gap in the academy system


Our coaching packages start from £750 for 12 sessions and are based on one session per week for the duration of the package during school term time. 

During the school holidays, sessions are available during the day, no evening sessions will take place, unless by agreement, this is largely due to lots of school aged athletes attending holiday clubs and therefore they have done lots of excise during the day.



  • 26 training sessions
  • Video analysis
  • Match visits
  • Mentoring
  • Online support
Get Started



  • 12 training sessions
  • Sports mentoring
  • Support via text/phone
Get started

1-2-1 Training Outcomes

UNDERSTANDING: A better understanding of the academy setup and what your coaches are looking for

CONFIDENCE: Increased confidence and awareness of personal behavior in the academy environment

KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge of how to consistently train and compete at the highest level

IMPROVEMENTS: Improved athletic ability and overall fitness specifically for football



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.

Why we do what we do?

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.

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. To read our full Terms and Conditions, click HERE

For more information See our FAQ's

    If you are under 18 years old, please have your parent or carer complete this form. Thank you.

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    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 Grassroots 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.

    GillParent of Academy Player

    It's time to say thank you to you Wayne. We've said it before, you've worked on his physical and mental strength. His self belief over the last year has been great and he's great at driving and motivating himself now. They don't teach you these things too well at school but they're brilliant life skills that he will take with him whatever he does. Thank you Wayne. You're brillant.