Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy

The World's Most Prestigious Collegiate Soccer Academy

Founded in 2010 by Mark Ellis, Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy (RIASA) is the original and most prestigious collegiate soccer academy in the world. We provide our student-athletes with the unique opportunity to earn an American-accredited degree whilst developing as a football player in the home of the sport, the United Kingdom.

We believe that all talented athletes should have the best possible chance at playing at a high-level all year-round without sacrificing their education. This is why we offer a high-level 10-month soccer season alongside a premium, American-accredited University education unlike any other.

Since day one, RIASA has been lovingly built into the institution it is today by a core team of passionate and dedicated staff from having a single team to an ever-growing roster of almost 100 student-athletes with locations in Leeds and London.

When you join RIASA, you do not just sign up for a regular academy. You become part of the family.

Ready to join the family? Come and #MakeYourMark.

Founded: 2010
Age level(s): 18-30
Head coach: Rob Jones
Awards / Achievements:

Richmond University – The Best International Student Experience 2017

League: British Universities & Colleges Sport

What we offer:

We offer an American-accredited Master’s degree alongside a high-level soccer development programme through which you will play against professional academies in the UK & Scandinavia. The only opportunity to do so in the U.K.


With over 470 professional appearances for teams including; Stockport County, Grimsby Town, Hibernian FC, Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers, Rob brings with him his knowledge and experience of what it takes to make it and maintain a career as a professional footballer.

Over this time Rob has successfully captained his clubs in a variety of leagues including The Championship, Football Leagues, SPL and the Europa League achieving numerous promotions and cup success. During Rob’s playing career he has also held the role of Caretaker Manager, Head of Development- U21 level and Academy Coach.

Rob has 12 years coaching experience and is a UEFA ‘A’ Licenced Coach. Rob also holds qualifications in FA Youth Modules 1,2 and 3, UEFA Advanced Youth Award and holds FA qualifications in Talent Identification and Sports Psychology.

With a successful career behind him, Rob has a wealth of contacts in the game and has strong relationships with a wide range of football clubs.

Leeds LS6 3QS GB
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