Directors and Staff

Mark Ellis, Former Professional Player, Bradford City FC

RIASA Football Director

Co-founder and Director at RIASA, Mark is a former professional footballer, who played for his hometown club Bradford City for over 12 years. He represented them in three different divisions gaining two promotions and played in two league cup quarter finals before a serious knee injury unfortunately brought his English career to a premature end. However, he did go on to play further for Hellenic FC, a former Premier League club in Cape Town South Africa.

After Mark retired from playing, he then went on to a very successful career in coachingBeginning initially in the U.S, Minnesota for two years then at Oakland University, Detroit MI for over 15 years where he was solely responsible for the summer soccer camps.

He also coached local semi– professional team, The Michigan Bucks in the PDL during this time.

During the English season Mark coached College football as well as working for English Championship club Huddersfield Town in their academy for 8 years.

Mark then returned to South Africa to Coach Ajax Cape Town u17s. 

Marks professional contacts are now global. In Europe, Mark has forged strong links with clubs in Finland, Norway and Sweden where he has placed several RIASA students. He has also spent time in South America, Brazil at former World Cup legend Zicos club and has more recently returned from China where he is working towards further opportunities for RIASA students. 


Coaching Staff

John Hendrie, Academy Coach. UEFA “A” Licensed coach

John played at the Premiership level with Newcastle United, Middleborough, Leeds United, Barnsley and Bradford City FC. John has also been the manager of Barnsley FC when they were in the English Premiership; John also holds the UEFA “A” Coaching License.

John has numerous contacts within the professional game and will be responsible for coordinating the games for RIASA with professional youth team academies. John will represent all RIASA players who are looking to play at any professional level. He has already managed and consulted with several top premiership players including Robbie Savage, Leicester City FC, Birmingham City FC and Welsh International, Mark Schwarzer Australian International and Fulham Goalkeeper, Stuart Mc Call Bradford City FC Manager, Everton and Scotland International, and Dean Windass, Bradford City & Hull City FC.

Kamran Stead, Bradford RIASA Coach

UEFA “B” License in progress.

Kamran been coaching football full time since 2012, and is currently working on his UEFA B License, having achieved his FA Youth Award.

Kamran has worked with all age groups, from 5-21 years olds and has worked for RIASA since 2012 also coaching at Bradford College.

He also coaches the RIASA summer camp experience in Leeds. He will work as an assistant to the academy coaches helping with the development of technical and tactical understanding of developmental players.

Kyle Jordan, RIASA Coach

UEFA B license in progress, FA Youth Award & BSc (hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences graduate at Liverpool John Moore’s University, Kyle uses his education and experiences to help understand the whole athlete, physical and psychological systems, and then optimising their systems through integration of soccer training methods.

Kyle began Coaching in 2010, after having played for professional clubs Motherwell FC & Linfield FC.

Kyle has experiences coaching at Glasgow Rangers FC & Leeds United Academy.

He has also worked for the West Riding County Football Association coaching various ages and abilities of both genders.

Kyle spends the off season coaching and managing soccer clinics in the America during the summer for UK Elite Soccer, having coached down the East Coast, Mid-West and most recently Texas.

Karl Leneghan, Goalkeeping Coach

Karl has played both professional and semi professional football for over 35 years. His career started at the age of 16 when he was signed professional terms with Bradford City in 1979. After Bradford City FC he continued to play over 800 games at Conference Level.

On finishing playing he undertook his professional Football Association coaching qualifications allowing him to coach at the semi professional level.

He currently works as the Goalkeeping Coach at Harrogate Town, having previously worked at Halifax Town and Chester FC as a 1st team Goalkeeper coach.

During his time at Halifax two of Karl’s goalkeepers have been selected for the England C team with Simon Eastwood going on to sign professionally for Blackburn Rovers, as well as coaching whilst Jamie Vardy and Lee Gregory were there.

Carl Kennedy, Goalkeeping Coach

UEFA B Candidate & BSc (hons) Sports Coaching graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University. 
Started coaching at 17 after spells playing for Wigan Athletic Academy.

Whilst studying on the Sports Coaching degree at Leeds Metropolitan University gained experience coaching at Leeds United Centre of Excellence & Bradford City Development Centres.

Currently also working as West Riding County FA U18’s Goalkeeping Coach for the past 4 seasons & Guiseley Academy GK coach for the past 2 seasons, implementing a modern coaching approach to goalkeeping.

Integrating outfield play and supporting game specific and realistic goalkeeping sessions.

Mark Cox, Head of Physio – BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MCSP, AACP

Mark qualified from Bradford University in 2002 and gained his experience at Airedale  General Hospital.

Mark has worked with RIASA since the start of the program, assisting RIASA athletes with player injuries and rehabilitation.

He also works for Bingley Physiotherapy Sports Injury Clinic, having joined the practice over 12 years ago.

Administrative Staff

Dawn Craven, Head of Operations

Dawn has over 20 years experience within the higher education field. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the football program with the academic and football staff.

Dawn has been working in the fitness/leisure industry for over 25 years, 15 of those as a Lecturer/Head of Department in the post 16, Further and Higher Education Sector. Dawn has specialized in the fields of Sport/Health Related Exercise and Fitness and Public Services and currently holds ‘Qualified Teacher Status’.

In addition to Dawn’s role as Head of Operations,  she will undertake the role as RIASA Sports Therapist, Nutritionalist and Pastoral/Mentor Coach, providing support for both students and parents and enhancing the link between the soccer program and the educational institutes.

Alia Szurma Hasani, Operations Manager

Alia is Secretary of the Lancashire League football teams, and deals with all football administration. She works with Dawn Craven on all aspects of the football academy’s operations.

Alia also Manages the Social Media outputs, and publishes the monthly Newsletter as well as keeping the website up to date with Academy News and featured articles.

Alia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Photography from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Before joining RIASA, Alia has travelled extensively, working in Europe, America and as far afield as New Zealand, using her career in Hospitality Management to fund her travels. She also speaks French, Spanish, and Czechoslovakian.

Mairi Forman, Business Manager

Mairi has run her own clothing manufacturing business for over 30 years having studied art at Jacob Kramer (now Leeds Art College) and going on to study fashion. During this time she also took a teaching qualification at Leeds Met (now Leeds Beckett University) and for 20 years also taught fashion and pattern drafting part time at Airedale and Wharfedale College Leeds, finally returning to Leeds Art College, this time as a member of staff, for 3 years. She also spent several years as a Business Advisor for Young Enterprise – an organisation that teaches school children about business by working with them to set up and run a company as a group for an academic year.

Whilst continuing her clothing business she now also uses her business experience working for ISAA Global incorporating RIASA. She is responsible for Legal issues, Accountancy and all day to day business matters. She also works alongside Football Director Mark Ellis as his Personal Assistant.

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