Coaching his way to success – Ryan Roy Shah

Coach Ryan Roy Shah, who hails from Pune, decided to take an unconventional route in his coaching career, when he alongside his AIFF and AFC certifications, went for UEFA ‘B’ certification

The recent years of Indian football have been none less than a Bollywood movie. There are moments of triumphs, extreme difficulties, glamour, and whatnot. However, amidst the melee, one thing that has flourished is the investment in development. Candidates who either want to play or be a part of the off-field activities now have a viable career in the field.

In the coaching sphere, the number of aspirants is increasing and so has the competition. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) ‘D’ certification, which is the entry-level coaching license in Indian football has seen a steep surge in applicants. It is followed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) licenses. Each year, there are hundreds of candidates who are passing these courses and entering the coaching arena.

In India, the pathway to coaching elite football teams is to keep upgrading the certifications and acquire experience with AIFF-affiliated football teams. Once the coach starts to win and make a name for himself, the chances of getting hired by India’s premier football team too increases.

Coach Ryan Roy Shah, who hails from Pune, decided to take an unconventional route in his coaching career. Alongside his AIFF and AFC certifications, he is one of the few coaches in India who possesses the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) ‘B’ certification. He did it through the Football Association of Wales.

Ryan is currently the Club Director of Pune Pioneers FC, Director of Sports at The Wonder School, Coach at Kalpa Vriksha Academy, core team member of the Association of Indian Football Coaches, and co-founder of The Indian Football Portal. He also has business partnerships with venues in Pune, where he runs successful football academies. Ryan has had the unique experience of working with every sector in football including youth, senior men, and senior women at schools, universities, clubs, academies, the Indian Army, and NGOs, achieving tangible success with them.

Being an avid advocate for coach education, Ryan started off with his FA International Foundation course, which is equivalent to the FA Level 1, from Abhijeet Kadam Football Development Centre in Pune and the AIFF ‘D’ from Western India Football Association at Cooperage Mumbai.

His craze for constantly upgrading on qualifications and expanding knowledge made him travel to Dubai, UAE for his FA International Intermediate (FA Level 2), FA Futsal Level 1, and FA Goalkeeping Level 1 course. He has been to Edinburgh in Scotland for his Scottish FA Level 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and C License as well as Aberdeen in the same nation to complete his Scottish FA Goalkeeping Level 1. He has done his PFSA (Professional Football Scouts Association) Level 2 and 3 courses in Manchester and Accrington in England.

Ryan completed his FAW ‘C’ certificate course in 2018 and had the option to apply for the UEFA ‘B’ course through the English FA, Scottish FA, and Welsh FA, as he did the prerequisite qualification through all three associations.

He eventually decided to go with the Football Association of Wales because he liked their course content, delivery style, assessment methods, online modules, and post-course support.

The UEFA ‘B’ course kicked off with 11 online modules through Zoom, to cover the theory section. The first online module was on the 12th of January 2022 and the last one was on the 1st of June 2022. Each session lasted between 1.5 to 3 hours and would begin at 4:30 AM India time.

Ryan traveled to Colliers Park in Wrexham, Wales, to attend the four-day practical sessions from the 23rd to the 26th of June 2022.  Those four days were quite candidate-focused, with every coach giving three practical assessments in four days.

His first assessment was on the topic of Final Third (In Possession), the second was on Creating & Exploiting Overloads (In Possession) and the third one was on Defending the Lines (Out of Possession).

The course tutors were Gareth Owen, Ben Stait, Guy Handscombe, Mark Roberts, and Nicola Anderson. Gareth is a UEFA Pro, who has legendary status as a player with Wrexham and Nicola is also a UEFA Pro, currently working with the Welsh age group national women’s team.

In his quest to never stop learning, Ryan is now targeting the AFC ‘B’ and the UEFA ‘A’ courses. He has also enrolled in Raymond Verheijen’s hugely popular FC Evolution online mentorship program which starts in September 2022 as well as Football Coaches Academy’s Youth Foundation course which starts in August 2022.

His objective behind obtaining such highly recognized qualifications are not primarily for job opportunities but more towards attaining knowledge and ideas through multiple sources to then blend the best ones into his own coaching style.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read Five-star India emerges SAFF U20 Champions

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