From complete beginners to international players, we have a class for you!
Welcome to FDS Harrogate
The FDS Harrogate Soccer
School has coached over 5,000
children in the town since 2003.
It is our aim to help every child fulfil their potential, whether playing in the playground with friends or going on to play in a World Cup final.
Before any football considerations we aim to help all the children become good young people. We coach boys and girls of all abilities from 5-16 years of age.
Meet The Coaches
Stuart Owen: Head Coach
I started out as Head of Boys PE in a Secondary School in West Yorkshire.
Whilst teaching I successfully passed the FA UEFA B Coaching Badge and the ICFDS Brazilian Coaching Licences. I spent 2 years coaching for Leeds United before setting up one of Simon Clifford’s Brazilian Soccer Schools in Bradford in 1999.
Moving to Harrogate in 2003 I continued the Brazilian Soccer School before creating a new school, FDS Harrogate in 2014. During my time at Brazilian Soccer Schools I became a National Squad Coach and an International Coach Educator.
Mike Johnson: Head Coach
Teaching the children new techniques and being an FDS coach is a perfect fit for me. I trained at the original Brazilian Soccer School (BSS) in Leeds as a teenager and went on to play for Garforth Town.
I completed my Level 3 gym instructor course before moving on to become a football coach. I successfully passed both the FA and ICFDS Brazilian Coaching courses and have been an FDS and Soccerkidz lead coach since 2011. I also became co-owner of Soccerkidz in 2016.
FDS Juggling Scheme
Through our unique training programme we have seen over 20 of our 5 and 6 year olds reach 100 kick ups. This has been achieved by following our amazing juggling scheme which takes children through progressively harder challenges using different parts of the foot. Many children develop a world class first touch at our classes.
Most of the children start with us on 1 kick up and catch. Through hard work and dedication we have some of the best ball jugglers in the world.
FDS player Brandon Thompson (above) performed 5,168 kick ups with a tennis ball.
In the early years at the Soccer School my eyes were opened to the incredible achievements that children are capable of when Joel Fireman, in year 2 at the time, performed 1,435 kick ups.
Joel was invited to perform at Manchester United in front of 76,000 people (above) and in front of the cameras at the Masters football in Sheffield (below).
Joel’s incredible performances led to several TV appearances: Look North, Sky Sports, By invitation Only, BBC News CBBC and Help Teach is Coming To Stay!
For much of the year we train on small courts meaning thousands more touches of the ball than conventional training and many more tight spaces and tricky situations to get out of.
We teach the children around 200 core skills, turns, moves to beat players and passing techniques using 6 surfaces of both feet. The children also develop an amazing first touch with our ball juggling challenges.
What is Futebol de Salao (FDS)
Futebol de Salão is a 5-a-side version of football of South American origin that is played with a smaller (size 2), heavier ball. The game became very popular in Brazil where players such as Pele, Ronaldinho and Neymar were brought up first playing Futebol de Salão before moving on to conventional football.
From Grassroots to
FDS Harrogate welcomes children from all grassroots teams. Every player born 2003/4 from Pannal Sports lions joined the Soccer School. The results were staggering:
6 junior internationals.
20 of the boys went on to join professional academies.
Over the years we have been asked to take many of our players to play against professional academies including: Manchester City, Leeds, Newcastle, Burnley, Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford and Oldham. Having excellent relationships with professional clubs allows us to recommend players to professional academies at the right time for the child.
FDS Harrogate players were invited for a tour of the Ethiad training complex before playing a match against Manchester City's academy (below).
Academy Players and Junior Internationals
Ryan Edmondson aged 6 & 14 at the Soccer School and scoring
for England U19’s on his debut
Children that attend our FDS Harrogate classes make huge gains in their footballing ability and go on to become excellent footballers. We are very proud of the fact that we have never selected any players on ability and many of our players that have joined professional academies came to us as complete beginners. FDS players have represented Great Britain, England, Poland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Kosovo. We look forward to many more players going on to play for their country in the future.
children have been offered trials with professional clubs
children have been successful in joining a professional academy
FDS players have represented their country and become junior internationals
Soccerkidz is a fantastic, early years play programme designed for walkers to school age children, with classes running throughout the week The children have the opportunity to move from Soccerkidz to the FDS Harrogate Soccer School classes at around 5 years of age.
Simon Clifford has been helping elite players from FDS Harrogate since 2013 and many of our players are involved in the Integer Football Programme. Integer is a holistic elite programme aimed at young players from U6 to U23. Simon is currently mentoring several Premier League and International players.
Since 2003 over a hundred of our players have been asked to trial for Leeds United Football club with 29 gaining a place in their academy teams including 4 that have played for their first team. We have developed excellent relationships with all professional clubs, but it seemed only natural to form a partnership with our closest top flight club. We are very much looking forward to working together with this great club and are delighted that they wanted to partner with us.
Robbie Gotts making his Leeds United debut at the Emirates
At FDS we encourage the children to follow their dreams and take on the world. We have several FDS graduates that are doing just that.
Rebecca Hugill: Freestyler
Rebecca, came along to her first football training session aged 8 with a best score of 3 kick ups.
After 1 year of training her best score was over 3,000 kick ups. She is now a World Class Football Freestyler.
In November 2021 she was crowned World Youth Football Freestyle Champion.
Click here to see Rebecca performing at Harrogate Town FC (opens in a new window)
Luke Richardson: Strongman
After several years at the Soccer School, Luke became British Powerlifting Champion, before moving onto
Strongman competitions. In 2020 aged 23 he became the youngest winner of Europe's Strongest Man and reached the final of World's Strongest Man at his first attempt.
George Mills: British
1500m Champion 2020
George came to the Soccer School for several years and was an excellent footballer. In his teens his attention turned to athletics and he is now a world class athlete. He won gold at the Under 17’s European Athletics Championships 800m in 2016 and in 2020 became the Men’s British 1500m champion.
“I love FDS, I am getting so much better than my friends”
FDS Player Aged 7
"The training at FDS is perfect for children to develop into fantastic footballers and become good people"
Parent and former Leeds, Manchester City and England player Danny Mills
“The coaches are amazing with the children and have given my child so much confidence both on and off the football pitch. I can’t thank them enough"
Parent of FDS player aged 8
“I highly recommend FDS Harrogate, all four of my boys have attended the classes and I see it as an important part of my children’s all round football development and education”
Parent and former Scottish international Andy Gray
“My team have been transformed and are now starting to win lots more matches by playing fast, skilful football"
Parent and Grassroots Under 12's Coach in Harrogate