Richard Shaw

Growing up in North West England, Richard was surrounded by soccer from an early age. His playing career began during his early years at school, and by the age of 10 he was invited to join the youth system at Blackpool FC based in his hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire. At 16, Blackpool FC offered him a two year YTS contract, so he graduated high school, signed with the club and began training and playing fulltime. During this time Richard played with some of England’s best upcoming players while facing the youth teams of clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool FC.

After spending a total of 8 years at Blackpool FC, Richard moved on to Kendal Town FC where he spent two years. At this point he became interested in coaching youngsters, and while gaining experience working with young players in local schools he completed his UEFA Coaching license through the PFA (Professional Footballer’s Association). He was also invited by Blackpool FC’s youth academy director to work with the U9’s and presented with an opportunity to travel to the U.S. to coach in Minnesota.

After enjoying his experiences in America, he decided to pursue college playing opportunities, and landed in Syracuse, NY where he played for Bryant and Stratton and for Lemoyne College. During this time, he won a NJCAA Division I National Championship, was awarded All-American honors, and named MVP three consecutive years. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems, Richard spent the majority of his time furthering his education in youth soccer development. In 2003, he developed a curriculum with his colleague Paul Mairs, and it was first implemented by a youth soccer program in New York State.

As the program developed and the curriculum began to have a positive impact on hundreds of young players throughout Central New York, he sat down with Chris Pelligra (the Director of Operations), and together they formed NY Soccer Central, a youth soccer program training players aged 5 – 18 which focuses on each player’s individual development and maintaining their involvement in the sport. Living in New York State with his wife Elizabeth, Richard continued his playing career after signing professionally with the Syracuse Silver Knights of the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). He remains heavily involved in youth development and is the Head Coach at SUNY (State University of New York) Adirondack. He also enjoys working with Time Warner Sports as a soccer analyst and commentator for NCAA Division I soccer.