Gareth Prendergast Appointed Football Development Coach

We would like to welcome Gareth Prendergast to the RIASA team. Gareth joins RIASA as the academy’s new Football Development Coach.

Watch Gareth's first interview

Gareth has great coaching experience, along with his UEFA qualifications and academic knowledge, we know that Gareth will be able to add value to our coaching and help improve training sessions, the level we compete at and help our students develop even further when they join our soccer program.

Gareth's Football Experience

Gareth Was at Crewe as a youngster during one of their most successful times as a club during the mid-late 90s and early 2000s (Championship and producing players). 

For such a small club, they were innovating the way they worked with players. It was hugely successful and they were able to compete with clubs who were much bigger as well as sell players who then went on to have successful careers at the top level. 

Gareth has had the opportunity to work some great coaches (Bill Prendergast, Dario Gradi, Steve Holland, Terry McPhillips) and players (Eddie Johnson, Ryan Austin, Stuart Tomlinson, Seth Johnson, Nicky Maynard, Danny Fox, Eddy Johnson, Kenny Lunt) throughout his time here.

Crewe have a reputation of playing attractive, attacking football and this has had an influence on Gareths’ own playing philosophy.

As a scholar, he often toured in the USA; competing in the Orlando Cup on a regular basis. 

Gareth then went on to play and coach in non-league with Alsager Town, Newcastle Town, New Mills, Trafford, Hyde United and Northwich Victoria/Villa.

Gareth's Qualifications & Education

After leaving Crewe, Gareth went on to University to complete a dual honours degree in History and Law and completed his teacher training.

Whilst at University he completed his FA level 1 and 2 coaching badges, and continued to play at a good level. 

Gareth  joined RS-Coaching after University for a summer to deliver holiday camps. After 2 months of coaching, he joined the company full time and became the education manager in his first year, eventually becoming managing director during his 10 years there.  

The company moved into education programmes for aspiring young players, forming an Academy at Hyde United FC. 

During 7 years at Hyde United FC, Gareth taught, coached and ran the academy, overseeing 400 plus students through the college and university education. 

Gareth coached the under 18s and 21s playing a role in 30 plus players progressing in to the first team at Hyde United during his tenure. A further 40 have gone on to play in either professional or semi-professional football in the UK and further afield at other clubs. 

During this time he developed as a coach as well, completing his UEFA B-licence in 2011 and then also his UEFA A-licence at St George’s Park in 2015.

In the last 4 years at Hyde, Gareth was asked to coach the first team as well as managing his  academy responsibilities, being involved in a promotion in his  2nd full season and a run that took the club to the first round proper of the FA Cup, which involved TV coverage of their  game against MK Dons. 

Last year Gareth went back to University, becoming a Master of Research in Sport and Exercise Science specialising in Coaching, Talent Identification and Development and the delivery of Performance Analysis.

Gareth's thoughts on RIASA

“During my time at Hyde we have played against RIASA on a number of occasions. There have been some great games during those meetings, and I have always been impressed with the professionalism of staff and the players. 

Because of my background in football and education, I have a keen interest in how the two interact and the positive impact each one can have on the other. 

I think the opportunities RIASA offers are exceptional and it’s fantastic to be a part of a company that offers such a wide variety of benefits for young people.”

The Upcoming Season

Preparations are well underway for the coming season and I can’t wait to get started. 

I’m excited about getting back to a level of normality after some uncertain times due to the COVID outbreak and back out on the pitch.

I’m a strong believer in an individualised approach to working with players to make the improvements necessary to move them up to the next level. 

I am keen for all training sessions to relate to the game and the overall playing philosophy at the academy. 

Because of my educational background, I am a supporter of coaches searching for the best way to get their message across to each individual player. As a result, I use a variety of techniques when working with the team to get the best possible outcomes for the players. 

I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with the players.


We welcome Gareth to the team and hope you will join us in giving him a warm welcome. To send a welcome message, please visit our Instagram account. You can also click here to be directed to our latest post where you can welcome Gareth in your own words.