top of page

Our Mission

What is F4A Youth Academy?


We celebrate each child's differences so that they always belong.

The F4A Youth Academy is a youth development organisation for 7-16 year olds set up with the sole aim of developing the performance of young football players, regardless of ability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference or disability.

We are independent in both ownership and status. We do not align with any football clubs and have the expressed aim of developing players for the love of the game and the benefits it brings to individuals, their communities and wider society.

We are performance orientated, which means that we treat all of our players as individuals, who regardless of ability or function can improve their playing ability, skills, technique and engagement with the game of football.

We strive for excellence in all we do, at all levels, and are in the profession of developing young people, through football and fitness.



Footballing Philosophy

We recognise that every child is an individual

F4A believes that  by incorporating skill, technique, understanding the game and possession are the keys to developing performance as an all round footballer.

These key areas drive our coaching planning and delivery, by developing existing skills, and introducing new ones, mastering techniques, reading the game, being able to position yourself in the best place to receive or give the ball, managing the game and keeping and retaining possession.

Our Curriculum

We operate on a termly basis and each term will focus and develop each young person using the four corner model based on a particular topic:

  • Technical and tactical

  • Psychological

  • Physical

  • Social


We aim to spend time progressively developing skills and techniques and putting them into practice in simulated situations.

Young people learn by doing, practicing, understanding, drilling until technique are mastered and put into practice.

Players can join the academy at any point in a term and because we focus on the individual so that the young person will master the techniques quickly and involve them in their performance development.

We generally do not play full sided games, either in our sessions or against other teams, instead skill will be practised and implemented in lots of small exercises that simulate high pressure and quick thinking with as much ball contact as possible, and at times implemented in smaller games.


We are a development academy, so we will either expect our players to be playing for their own teams, or we can help find them teams to join. Our services focus on development rather than team playing progression. Occasionally we may put together an invitational squad to play in a tournament or competition, but this is in addition to our development coaching.

We will also run football training camps during holiday times, or have masterclasses run by outside coaches who may specialise in particular skills, or allied subjects that enhance our players, eg) fitness, nutrition, leadership, social issues, or campaigns etc.

The concept behind our curriculum is to keep them focused, keep them progressive, keep them developing as well-rounded individuals.

Our sessions are player focused, developing skills and knowledge, whilst being fun and educational, not just footballing but in regard to active and healthy lifestyles, helping young people make positive choices about their lives and the way they want to live.

We believe in investing in our staff.  All of our them are FA qualified, and receive regular training by us for their own development including emergency first aid, autistic and neuro-divergent training, safeguarding and performance training.


Neil taylor


  • Fully Qualified Level 1 FA Coach 12 years exp.

  • Goalkeeping coach

  • Safeguarding training

  • Level 3 Emergency First Aid

  • How we support the future player 

  • Autism and neurodiversity youth sport training

  • Enhanced DBS checked

I started coaching as a volunteer about 12 years ago coaching children age 4+.  I also got involved with goalkeeper coaching when my son took up the sport. My most challenging role was supporting vulnerable children in residential homes. My personal ethos is that every child is valued and gifted. I believe in working with individual needs and tailoring/adapting the training plan to support every child.


What is your earliest memory of football?


Why do you love to coach?

I enjoy seeing children succeed in football

What football team do you support?

West Ham

Who is your favourite football player?


MICHELLE FITZSIMMONS - managing director


  • BA Hons Film and Media Studies

  • Playmakers certificate

  • Safeguarding Lead

  • NSPCC Child Protection in Sport and Physical Activity Certificate

  • NSPCC Safeguarding out of school settings certification

  • Autism & Neurodiversity in Youth Sport Workshop

  • Currently studying L2 Understanding Children & Young People's Mental Health

As a football mum, out every Saturday to support my son in his game and going to training and attending football academies during the week, I saw an opportunity to create an all inclusive development programme for children.

I didn’t know how it could happen, I just knew that my vision could be realised if I found the people who shared the same ethos as I did.

That’s when James Dyer came on board.

And so, Football For All Youth Academy was born.

What is your earliest memory of football?


My earliest football memory isn't of a particular football match or that in my late teens I worked at Tottenham ticket office, no; my earliest memory is of my Dad passionately shouting at the tv whilst the footy was on! 

What football team do you support?

Coming from Borehamwood, near North London it has to be my home team Tottenham Hotspur, though I love supporting our local teams. F4A sponsor Tavistock Black U12's.

Who is your favourite football player?


When I was a girl, I was a huge fan of Gary Lineker.  As a Spurs fan I truly admire Son Heung-Min's football skills, from his dribbling style and his incredible use of both feet, to his versatility and precision.

IMG_3406 (2).jpg

james dyer - operations director


  • BA hons Outdoor Leadership

  • MA Outdoor Practice

  • Level 3 Personal Training

  • level 2 Fitness Instructor 

  • First Aid Instructor

  • Mental Health first aid Instructor

  • Certificate in Coaching 

  • Member of Foundation for Leadership in Sport 

After formative years working in sports development and personal training, I have a long history of coaching and developing athletes, sports teams and elite performers.


Working with people in a range of settings to create high performing teams, my experience has included world first expeditions, military operations and business leadership.


My role as Director of Operations and performance ensures that our high standards are embedded in the coaches and operations of the Academy  and we provide the highest quality of coaching and support to our participants .


I'm a passionate believer in giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to be the best they can be, and that sport is a great way for people to understand themselves, others, and learn important skills for life.



What is your earliest memory of football?


Either playing games in middle of winter on Blackheath in London, or watching FA Cup finals on my grandparents TV.

What football team do you support?

As I'm from the best side of London (!) I am a passionate West Ham supporter.

Who is your favourite football player?

Bobby Moore for his class as a player and a man, Messi for his talent and reading the game, Declan Rice for his maturity and skill and of course Pele for his ability to do things with a ball that you didn't think possible, and Gazza for the 96 goal against Scotland!!

bottom of page