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Ross Johnson - Academy Director

Ross Johnson - Academy Director

Ross founded the academy in 2011 as he has a passion to help players develop and succeed in their football careers. Ross noticed, through his experience in professional football, that some players needed guidance both on and off the pitch for players who were new to the professional game or who had fallen out of the system. The academy has developed overtime and now offers many other courses and choices, but MIFA's moto remains the same "moving forward together."

Ross' experience in professional player development started in 1991 when he was first recruited to (what was) the Football League Apprenticeship programme. Working in the North West hub, ross trained/educated young players from Manchester United, Manchester City, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale and Oldham Athletic.

As a former Director in charge of Youth Development at Bury F.C, Ross personally looked over a successful development programme that produced players such as: David Nugent(Middlesbrough), Colin Kazim-Richards(Glasgow Celtic), Dale Stephens(Brighton and Hove Albion) and Nathan Eccleston(England u-17 international) amongst many others.

Ross has three children, the eldest of which Max, used to be a professional football player. Any free time Ross has now is taken up by his youngest son Reggie. He is happy to have his second child, Hannah, working alongside him in the office.

Message from the Director:

Welcome to the Manchester International Football Academy website. I hope you enjoy viewing the exciting range of programmes available to young footballers. MIFA is passionate about creating opportunities for players, to achieve success, on and off the pitch. I look forward to giving you a personal welcome in Manchester at the Salford Sports Village.

Pedro Monteiro - Academy Manager

Pedro Monteiro - Academy Manager Pedro is a UEFA B qualified coach who is also volunteering at a Premier League Club. He has experience working in several professional and semi-professional football clubs. He has previously worked at a League one club. Even though Pedro has only been working at the academy for one year, he has already helped the academy and its players improve and develop. Pedro's passion lies in seeing young footballers take their next step in the professional game. Working towards his Masters in Sports Coaching, Pedro finds little time outside of football, but when that does occur he is usually watching his team, Porto FC playing.

Robert Ashton - Academy Administrator

Robert Ashton - Academy Administrator Robert has just received his degree in Football Business and Marketing at the Etihad Campus. Robert is happy to welcome, introduce and work with all our players at the academy and is available to answer any queries and questions. A devoted Blackburn Rovers FC supporter and season ticket holder, he enjoys a live game. Apart from his passion for football, he enjoys playing golf and going to the gym. Robert also likes to travel and experience new cultures.

Hannah Johnson - Academy Administrator

Hannah Johnson - Academy Administrator Hannah has been involved with MIFA from the beginning, working within administration. She has really enjoyed seeing every player who attends the academy grow and move forward and has found it extremely rewarding to be involved. Hannah is an advanced dancer who has studied at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. She has had a big involvement within sport her whole life, competing at a high level in hurdles competitions for many years. Football has always had significance, having played herself when she was younger. All Hannah's family are involved in football; she even takes her baby brother to tiny training sessions! Hannah enjoys spending her free time doing Pilates, at the gym and cooking.

Giulio Romano - Goalkeeper Coach

Giulio Romano - Goalkeeper Coach Giulio Romano is our goalkeeper coach from Naples, Italy. He holds a UEFA-B coaching license and currently works for a Premier league club! Apart from his passion for football, Giulio loves to cook! A bright and positive individual, Giulio brings a lot of bounce and energy into the team.

Martin Whalley - Strength and Conditioning Coach and Qualified Physio

Martin Whalley is our strength and conditioning coach and qualified physio. His main responsibility is to ensure that all our players are in good physical shape. Martin previously spent a season working in Canada with professional rugby team, Toronto Wolfpack. Martin is extremely passionate in helping players to act and become footballers both on and off the pitch, in their training and diet. A very fit and active individual, Martin practices what he preaches and enjoys ultra distance running- 100 mile marathons for fun!

Jos Bakker - Assistant Coach

Jos Bakker is Pedro's assistant coach, originally from Holland and a die-hard Ajax FC supporter. Jos was a player himself at MIFA, so fully understands what it is like to move to England to pursue your football career. Jos fell in love with the city of Manchester and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with our players. Working towards his UEFA B License, Jos wants to continue to develop his coaching skills.

Excellent Sports Facilities
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Training and Study Programme

Welcome to MIFA, the academy that allows you to train full time in a professional structure. Join a squad of young players from the UK and around the world, moving forwards together.


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