Pro Direct Academy football coaches in action

Our male and female coaches are focused on performance and also fun in football!

The Official Academy of Pro:Direct

Established in 2010, Pro Direct Academy is the official Academy of global online sports retailer Pro:Direct Sport ( and has grown to over 6,000 registered players across the UK & Indonesia. Welcoming boys and girls from tots to 18 year olds, from beginners to trialists for pro clubs, our centres meet high standards daily all under the guidance of programmes devised by UEFA A Licensed coaches. From 16 years old players can join our football education programmes to study BTEC and A-Level qualifications alongside living the lifestyle of a pro footballer. Our students find jobs as pro players, coaches and go on to university.

To date our players have gone on to sign for clubs such as West Ham, Watford, Wolves, Gillingham and Stevenage. Our male and female professional coaches are FA Licenced and have passed DBS checks. Exceed Expectations with Pro Direct Academy.

Danny Payne

Danny Payne

Head Coach, Pro:Direct Academy

Danny was appointed Head Coach at PDA for the 2018/19 season and shapes the strategy for coaching prgrammes across the Academy.

He specialises in overseeing our London Elite Squads and selects players from across our
regional centres for our Select Squad.

Before promotion to his current position, Danny became Head of Recruitment, sourcing talent and using his established connections and expertise in the game to help our centres grow. 

After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire in 2011 he became Lead Academy Coach at Stevenage FC U9 & U16s. He moved on to the position of Head of Sport at Da Vinci Studio Schools in 2013. For the past 3 years he has been an Academy Scout for U15/16s at Watford FC. In 2017 he was made Head of Recruitment for Pro Direct Academy.

Darren Pearce Pro Direct Academy

Darren Pearce

Head of Operations, Pro:Direct Academy

As Head of Operations Darren supports the recruitment of players across all age groups and centres in to Pro:Direct Academy. He ensures the every day smooth running of Pro:Direct Academy and ensures that our coaching teams and schools work together for the best possible outcomes, including timetables and use of facilities.

He graduated with a BSc degree in Sports from the University of Hertfordshire in 2016 and while there was also the Project Lead for Herts Sports Partnership. Starting for PDA as Club Secretary while at University, he was quickly promoted to the role of Operations Manager in 2016.


Chris Powell - Pro Direct Academy

Christopher Powell

Head of Strength & Conditioning

Chris shapes the high level of physical conditioning of our players across Pro Direct Academy and strives to ensure that 'better never stops'! 

Chris started as an academy player at Stevenage Borough FC and went on to gain a Sports Science degree. He returned to strength and conditioning coaching, working with youth players. Now heading up the S&C programme for PDA, he works with a select group of our elite players daily, planning and shaping bespoke programmes for them, balancing aerobic, strength and recovery elements.

Rosie Kmita Pro Direct Academy

Rosie Kmita

Head of Girls, Pro:Direct Academy

Rosie is Head of Girls for PDA and ensures that all of our girls teams enjoy a mix of performance, fitness and fun in their football, whatever the age group. She enjoys the perfect insight in to the modern game as she is also a full-time professional player at West Ham United Ladies, in the FA Women's Super League - the top division in England for women's football.

She graduated from the University of Hertfordshire after playing football and studying in the USA at Saint Leo University, one of Florida's top Universities.
After coaching at Pro:Direct Academy in North London she was appointed Head of Girls and enjoys trips overseas to countries such as Indonesia as a PDA Ambassador.

Josh Dobson Pro Direct Academy

Josh Dobson

Football Coach, Pro:Direct Academy 

UEFA B Qualified Football Coach Josh Dobson shapes our technical delivery and is featured in the video above. He also holds the FA Youth Award, Level 3 Assisting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport plus a Level 3 Award in Education and Training.

He was a Football Coach & Tutor at Stevenage Football Club in 2015 and for 3 years was the U11s Lead Academy Coach & Elite Development Programme Tutor.

Working for Stevenage Football Club Foundation Limited from 2013-16, he was responsible for the delivery of schemes for Schools Partner Programmes, Pay & Play, Junior Kickers, Soccer Camp and Party Programmes. His experience included match day and special events, plus NCS Programmes. He joined PDA from 2017.


Sal Besim Pro Direct Academy

Sal Besim

Development Phase Lead Coach (12-16 years), Pro:Direct Academy

Sal Besim playes an improtant role in shaping the the future talent of Pro:Direct Academy. He specialises in the 12-16 years age groups and is our Youth Development Phase Lead coach.

A BSc graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, Sal has overseen the growth of Pro:Direct Academy since 2012, assiting Director Daniel Moss since PDA's more humble beginnings as an award-winning Academy in Enfield.

Oktay Hussein Pro Direct Academy

Oktay Hussein

Welfare Officer, Pro:Direct Academy 

Oktay Hussein plays a voluntary role with Pro:Direct Academy and as Welfare Officer is there to offer advice to parents, players and coaches with any issues they may have while at Pro:Direct Academy.

His regular role as a Fostering Support Office with Enfield Council perfectly compliments his position in ensuring that football is played in a fun, safe environment at PDA.