Coaching Team

Bryan Robertson

Head Coach and Owner of Soccerstarts Football Academy

Formerly of Hearts FC in the community, Socatots and Brazilian Soccer Schools and Powerleague.

Qualifications and experience
I am a father of 2 children who are the perfect age to enjoy sports sessions such as Soccerstarts.
I have first aid training, various certificates with Scottish Football Association in children’s, youth and adult, Futsal and early years coaching, Coerver first skills and youth diplomia 1 and 2 qualifications, Brazilian Soccer Schools and Socatots coach education gained with more than 5 years working with this organisation as a regional co-ordinator and head coach and the courses completed within this time period, Sports coaching insurance, disclosure Scotland checks and in the last 20 years have gained valuable hands on experience as a football coach and as a manager in the retail, sports and leisure industries.

Football Coaching/Career background
I was influenced at a very early age by my father, who coached the Abbeyhill Primary School football teams and continued to coach a number of different teams for several years at both primary school and youth level.

At 16 I started completing my SFA coaching certificates before coaching on a voluntarily for 8 years with Abbeyhill Primary School, Broughton Boys Club and Meadowbank Boys Club. I did this alongside my father encouraging local boys to continue to play football. Some of these boys had been released by other clubs who may have been playing at a higher level and I took pride in making sure these boys continued to play and love the game as I did at their age. These early experiences developed my ability to develop players and young people aged 10 – 18 years old.

Whilst studying at college I worked for Hearts FC in the community for Bobby Jenks and Alan Whyte coaching at the Meadowbank and Musselburgh Community Soccer Centre’s. I also coached at the Summer and Easter camps working successfully with Hearts FC for 7 years through their community schemes.
I left University at the age of 22 achieving an HND and BA degree in Leisure Management and a MSc in Business Management. I quickly moved from a part-time managerial job I had at University to working for Powerleague 5 a side football as well as continuing work for Hearts. At Powerleague I successfully set up the companies first Scottish coaching camps for children. Due to their success they were introduced in all Powerleague sites in Scotland and became a common feature of all the Powerleague sites to encourage local young people to play football. I am still proud of being to establish these opportunities for young people as well as becoming a General Manager a short time after joining the company.

Realising I wanted to pursue a career in football coaching I left Powerleague and becamethe regional co-ordinator and head coach for the Brazilian Soccer Schools and Socatots franchise for Edinburgh and East Lothian.I ran this franchise successfully for 6 years with approximately 300 children between the ages of Walking- 12 attending specialist coaching sessions every week. I received excellent coach education during my experience with Socatots and Brazilian Soccer Schools learning their creative and unique methods to encourage children to develop their football skills. I sold this successful business to pursue a management opportunity in the retail industry.

Between 2007-2016 I had been successfully pursuing a career in retail management and using my knowledge and skills gained through my coaching background to develop people within a retail environment. While bringing up my young family I had always continued to have a keen interest in football and have attended football and sports sessions with them.

Seeing the differences in the way they play and learn has encouraged me to return to football coaching in 2016 and complete further coach education in recent years with SFA and Coerver to complement previous coach education gained with SFA, Brazilian Soccer Schools and Socatots.

In 2016 I returned to Football Coaching with Soccerstarts Football Academy as Head coach and business owner building successful classes in Edinburgh and East Lothian using knowledge and experience gained in life, playing football, football coaching, working with a wide age of children, as a parent of 2 young children and also transferable experience in the business world.

I have always seen myself as a‘student of the game’ in recent times researching various DVD’s, eBooks and coaching manuals and from other sources as well such as coach education courses etc.I will constantly invest time in my coach education whether its through research and reading or through coach education courses.

Playing background
My love for football started at an early age playing for Abbeyhill Primary School at the age of 7. I continued to represent my primary and secondary school as well as playing for St Bernard’s FC until Under 21 level. The highlight of my playing career was being awarded the Under 18 player of the year and being asked to sign for the Under 21 team one year early. However, the love of coaching football and both work and university commitments took over whilst playing in the Under 21 East of Scotland Premier Division but I continued to play socially for different teams for several years in student leagues, competitive 5 a side leagues etc.

If I had continued to play seriously I imagine I would have been playing at Lowland League or East of Scotland league level tier 5/ tier 6 in present SFA terms if coaching and life hadn’t taken over at that point of time. (Tier 5/6 is semi professional level).

Assistant Coaches
Jordan Mackie, Datious Dharman and Alan Cross make up the assistant coaching team at present who have all went through the PVG check process. They also hold SFA certification and also football coaching certification from other football coach education providers as well. All also have completed courses in first aid and have experience in football/football coaching before they joined the Soccerstarts Football Academy team.

Jordan presently plays in the SFA Lowland/ East of Scotland Under 20’s Football league for Dalkeith Thistle FC. His league and team provide a pathway for young players into semi professional football and he currently is studying Sports Coaching at Edinburgh’s Napier University.