Muscat: The Muscat Football Academy have signed former Chelsea youth coach William Richards, who will take charge of the under-11 and under-14 squads at the academy.
“Oman seems something different, and the places I’ve been to before have been different as well, and it’s worked out for me quite well so far,” he said. “I was curious and excited to come here.”
With seven years of coaching under his belt, former centre-back Richards spent the last five years overseeing the development of the Chelsea Under-11s and Under-13s boys’ teams, and was also head of the girls’ development centre.
A UEFA-accredited trainer, coach William has also conducted clinics for Chelsea in other parts of the world, including Seoul, Manila and Bilbao in Spain. Butit was his two years spent with FCBEscola, the official soccer school of FC Barcelona, which inspired William to pursue coaching as a career.
“Because of working for them and the way they coach, their methodology, the way they like to play, got me involved more in the coaching side of it and made me want to go back to the UK and then gain some more qualifications and coach full-time,” recalls coach William, who oversaw the development of the Under-11s while with the Spanish giants.
Coach William’s sporting philosophy is a simple one.
“I’m always an advocate of putting in a hundred percent. You basically get out what you put in, that’s always something that I’ve lived by,” he explains. “I think it’s important to let the kids know that as long as they put a hundred percent into what they’re looking to achieve, the chances are they’ll achieve it.”
“Mistakes are part of the learning process,” he added. “I can forgive mistakes, but I can’t forgive a lack of effort. As long as you learn from those mistakes, they should reduce as you go on. As long as you adapt to them and learn from them, you’ll be good.”
Chuck Martini, Head Coach of Muscat Football Academy, is eager to see coach Richards work first hand with the players at the academy.
“We’re very lucky and happy to have him here,” explained Martini.“He will bring a different style to what we have already. It’ll be great to see how he works, and for my other coaches to learn from him, given that he’s worked for these big organisations.”
“I always believe that by playing the game, you understand what the player is going through,” added the former Leicester City goalkeeper. “You draw on your own experiences of when you played, and it’s easier to understand what you’re going through once you’ve played the game.”
“We want to provide the players with an experience that they will draw back on in later life and say that they had a wonderful time playing football with people like William. Adding him to the equation has been a positive move for us.”
Established in 2014, the Muscat Football Academy is Oman’s first privately-run football academy and now features over 300 young players across six age groups. Registrations for their current season are now open. For more information, visit muscatfootballacademy.com