"The bridge and experience to professional football"

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Ash Rahman

Founder & Academy Director

Ash set his sights on tackling the lack of opportunity available for gifted young footballers around London to make an impact within the professional game.

He came up with an idea of launching a school of excellence, a centre where the most promising players could fine tune their talents and achieve a better understanding of the game. Within the idea was a plan to help players who were good enough on a pedestal, giving scouts and coaches from professional clubs the chance to see their talents.

After seven years of hard work developing a structure, recruiting the right team and finding sponsorship, the Pro Touch Soccer Academy was born. Speaking on what is without doubt his greatest ever achievement, Ash said: "Coaching and guidance are vital in helping young footballers make it within the professional game.

"I've always wanted to play a part in helping footballers who are good enough get that chance to prove themselves. That is the sole aim of the Pro Touch Soccer Academy."

With the exception of a brief trial at Leyton Orient, Ash never played professional football and was never really given the chance to prove just how good a player he was. Staying close to the game, he turned his attentions towards coaching and managing, taking over the reins at King's Cross United with close friend Will Cave.

Since then he has gone on to accomplish numerous goals within the sport, coaching a host of successful men’s and women’s teams from across London. Among his successes include leading King's Cross Lithgow to a host of top honours around the country, including the prestigious Canary Cup in 2000.

He has also successfully pitted his wits against some of the best young managers from across Europe, securing a hat-trick of bronze medals at the Dana Cup, which was held in Denmark.

During the 1990s Ash coached and assisted some of the most gifted and talented young prospects that Camden and Islington had to offer. They included Abdul Koysor, who enjoyed spells at Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic, Leon Fisher, who played for Watford and England under-17s, and Sam Oji, who has spent time with clubs Arsenal, Birmingham City and Hereford United.

Ash has also played an influential role in the career of Anthony Wordsworth, a gifted young midfielder who is a regularly first-team starter at League One side Colchester United and another young first-team striker Danny Hylton currently at Aldershot Town.

With almost 16 years of experience under his belt, Ash has developed a great understanding of the media world that today's professional footballers are exposed to. His work both on and off the pitch has also merited various media coverage, with BBC, ITV and Channel Four all producing documentaries on his achievements. Ash has received the highest possible praise for all the hard work that he has put in over the years, receiving invites to the Buckingham Palace and No.10 Downing Street, where he met former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Ash is also the founder of the Camden and Regent’s Park Youth League, which is one of the largest grassroots youth league in Inner City London located at the Royal Parks.

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