Professional Football Development Model


The "RIASA Way"

RIASA Coaching Philosophy and Football Practice


     “Exciting, possession based fast attacking football.  Attack Space With Speed, Both On and Off the Ball”


Professional Development.

The philosophy is aspirational and not prescriptive; as we will encourage players to make decisions based on the situations and areas they find themselves in. At RIASA we want 'Independent Thinking Footballers' who are able to make decisions on time and space limitations with high levels of skill and game intelligence.

This philosophy provides the opportunity for players to develop their Technical attributes, alongside their Tactical understanding, which in turn requires Psychological skills, and develops both the Physical and Social skills that players need in order to compete at the highest levels of football performance. Central to our coaching methodology is the level of communication and detail we teach our players, which they themselves demonstrate when communicating to each other.  We are passionate about teaching and learning, and throughout every session, players will be faclitated in their learning to meet the needs of their preffered learning styles. This includes encouraging player onwership in order to develop deep level game understanding with skill execution.


“Winning isn’t important…playing and winning in style is important”

“We developing our players for the future game based on European models of coaching”

We believe that playing attractive football with style is important to how we nurture the development of our young players in order to prepare them for higher levels of competition.

RIASA Academy teams all play the same system in [1:4:3:3],  a interchangeable postional formation


The RIASA Academy looks for certain traits in its players, which we will work on to develop the player to reach his optimum potential.

RIASA Academy Player Traits:-

            Technical, Tactical, Physical, Psychological and Social.

  1. Good, quick feet
  2. Good ball handling skills
  3. Good passing & receiving skills
  4. Good body-shapes
  5. Change of Speed
  6. Confidence and composure in possession
  7. Desire to regain possession and work hard
  8. Desire to learn
  9. Desire to demand the ball
  10. Make good decisions on and off the ball
  11. To be a positive role model – Professionalism
  12. Be adaptable to change
  13. Take responsibility
  14. Ability to deal with adversity

Each of these attributes will be embedded into our Coaching Curriculum that is specifically designed to develop 'Self-Learners' with  creativity. Training will take into consideration each individual player's strenghts, as every RIASA player will have an Individual Learning Plan designed to maximse their playing performance and potential. As a result, team training sessions and individual specific work will be based around position and area specific game understanding to enthance team unity and individual excellence.

Our playing and coaching philosophy is based around developing players who are highly competent in Attacking, Defending and Transitional aspects of the modern and future game.

Exciting Attacking Football

We will encourage all teams to play exciting, fast attacking football using the traits of RIASA which include good ball-handling skills, body shapes, soft touches and fast passing through the use of clever communication. Intelligent movement is a fundamental trait of the attacking play, with practices, formation (1-4-3-3) and individual roles designed to encourage players to:

  • Runs to "Retrieve" - win the ball back with pressure
  • Runs to "Deceive" - trick the opponent
  • Runs to "Receive" - movement to get on the ball or create space

All RIASA teams will play out from the back (GK), penetrating through the thirds (dependant on environmental factors) and upon entering the midfield third of the pitch, will look to create overloads, combinations and individualism through use of clever player rotation and multi-movements. By utilising rotational movement and play through central and wide areas, RIASA teams will have attacking threat and defensive organisation, balance and security when in possession. All players will have a licence to express themselves and show both imagination, creativity and more importantly "Be unorthoodox" in all thirds of the pitch with finishing being on goal, accurate and  across the keeper, with players driving into space to follow up on any rebound opportunities that may present themselves where the goal isn't scored.



All teams wil be encouraged to deny, restrict, reduce and limit the number of goal scoring opportunities the opposition team have, with RIASA teams pressing as high up the pitch as possible, by looking to regain possession within 5 seconds,  and upon "Running to Retrieve" - Regain possession. RIASA teams will try to counter attack in less than 4 seconds, 3 passes or less! with a shot on goal. Where counter-attacking opportunities are denied, RIASA teams will retain possession and "Start-Again", keeping the ball until and opportunity presents itself through clever ball retention to breach the opposition defence for a goal scoring opportunity. When in possession we are looking at balance, so that when we do lose the ball, we are able to protect centre-pitch and prevent any counter-attacks against us.  In attacking and mid thirds of the pitch, we will encourage the players to show the opposition inside, and in our defending third we will encourage players to show away from goal. If the opposition play through the press, the next phase of our defending would be to recover, deny, delay, control and restrain the opposition's penetration with the emphasis on regaining the ball through an interception or tackle, or forcing a mistake that leads to us gaining possession and territory.



All academy teams will be encouraged to play with a high intensity in the transitional period by looking to regain possession as quickly as possible in order to counter attack with an end product. This includes developing players understanding around recoveries, tracking runners and getting back into shape in order to regain and counter-attack. We will train players to understand transition moments from Attack to Defence and from Defence to Attack.

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