The R77 East London based Soccer School is the destination of a journey that has stemmed over seven years in the life of its founder, Ridhwaan Yusuf, or as most call him, Ruudy. One which initially began with a formidable team in the mould of FC Catalans, Ruudy had an ambition to create the best footballing team in the entirety of East London; little did he know that this dream alongside his friendships with the team he created, would make the soccer school what it is today.
The final game of the season for FC Catalans in the U18s East London and Essex Sunday Football League would prove to be the one that marked ‘La Familia’ as Champions, or the contrary. Unbeaten in 17 games that season and having won each and every one of them, the group knew nothing but how to win, something embedded into them from their great coach and as the final whistle blew, the 3-1 score line was in the favour of Ruudy and his players, which saw them lift the trophy as 2010 Champions and effectively, be amongst the most sought after teams in East London.
Time had passed and Ruudy went onto pastures new, looking to further progress in the area of coaching and management, something he was truly gifted at. Offered a role at semi-professional side Redbridge Football Club in 2012, Ruudy was adamant on making the most of this opportunity and went about forming another great side, this time with the U14s; a highly competitive season saw them finish second in the league by a single point and crowned League Cup Champions! Ruudy made winning a habit of his wherever he went and this held him in good stead for onlookers and admirers in the game.
Having worked with young kids a great amount throughout his coaching and managing tenure, Ruudy had always wanted to start his own Soccer School for young kids, but one with a difference. He wanted to highlight the importance of first principals and enjoyment, not only at a playing level but coaching as well; his determination helped him to form a team of 3 coaches and stage their first ever training session for kids aged 3-7, in 2014. In the very same year, Ruudy was approached by semi-professional side Newham FC, to join as Head Coach for the senior team and he wasted no time in getting started.
Busy with the responsibilities that came with the role of Head Coach, Ruudy took this opportunity to form a strong team in the background to work on his latest dream, R77 Soccer School. With his bubbling personality, Ruudy was able to attract coaches and staff of the calibre he wanted and after 6 months of planning, organising and spreading the word, R77 Soccer School had its official opening session in July 2015. The year ahead was of great importance and the number of kids attending grew and grew and before they knew it, it had been one year since the school was formed.
The school now boasts a healthy number of coaches, 15 to be precise, all of which have played under Ruudy in their younger ages. This not only shows the unity amongst the team of staff, but the effect Ruudy has had on them as a coach, elder and a person. With more kids joining on a weekly basis, more age groups being conquered and partnerships growing, the story continues..