Internationally Capped Footballer Completes College Academy Coaching Team

Date: 15/01/2014

Dearne Valley College’s Football Academy is looking forward to a successful season following the completion of their top line-up of coaching staff. The team now includes an internationally capped footballer, as well as UEFA licensed and specialist Coaches to ensure all players are trained as professionals in a high-class environment.

The finalised group comprises of first team Coach, Ciaran Toner, who boasts two caps for his native Northern Ireland, and a UEFA A license to coach football. Toner’s previous clubs include Tottenham Hotspur, Peterborough Utd and Leyton Orient, among others, and he currently plays for Gainsborough Trinity FC alongside his coaching commitments at DVC and with the Rotherham United under-16’s squad.

Coaching the Academy’s second team will be UEFA B licensed and full-time sports Coach, Ryan Laight, who began his football career at Barnsley FC, and also made appearances for Tamworth FC, Matlock and Ossett Town.

Alongside these will be specialist goalkeeping Coach, Paul Pritchard, whose CV also boasts caps for his home nation, Wales, as part of the under 18’s and semi-professional team, alongside 37 caps in the Anglesey World Island Games International and playing for numerous premier league sides in his own country. More recently, Pritchard has trained goalkeepers for clubs such as Manchester United.

Providing the strength and conditioning coaching for the academy teams will be Richard Clark, whose experience in strength and conditioning for football includes an internship at Sheffield United, and he is currently a qualified Personal Trainer at the Wath-based College’s sports centre, DVC Sports.

Speaking about the coaching line-up, Curriculum Area Leader for Leisure Industries, Adam Nixon said:

“With such a wealth of experience playing both professionally and semi-professionally, along with a vast coaching history and an extensive involvement within the sports industry, I am in no doubt that Dearne Valley College’s Football Academy will flourish under the direction of our coaches.”

“Our academy players receive individualised and professional coaching and we will nurture their sporting talents and aim to provide them with further opportunities to pursue a career in sport.”

All Academy players are currently studying towards various levels of sports qualifications at Dearne Valley College, and those who are interested in taking part in the academy can apply now for courses at the College commencing in September 2014. For further information about the College’s Sports provision and range of courses, call 01709 513355 or email Further information can also be found on the College’s website at


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