Club News

We are pleased to announce our new director of football, Ralph Valerio

Spanning 20 years of coaching, Ralph has worked with players of all ages and skill levels, from pre-school beginners to signed pro academy talent.

Ralph spent several years at Motherwell FC’s academy before switching to the Scottish Rugby Union youth national development squad until age 18. After relocating to the Isle of Sheppey and facing an early career-ending injury, he began coaching locally at a young age.

Having played a leading role in transforming the player development pathway at National League neighbours Maidstone united, Ralph will be working very closely with our youth section in the early days of his appointment.

When asked about the appointment, club chairman Tony Hughes said “The club are committed to growing our youth section over the next few seasons, with Ralph on board, we will be looking to offer our current and new coaches the appropriate training and support needed to nurture our young talent.”

We are committed to investing towards the creation of outstanding coaches. We see it as a key strategy to develop our players, serve our community, and grow a pipeline of local talent for our first team. By enhancing our coaches’ skills, we create a ripple effect that elevates player development and strengthens our club’s foundation. There are some really exciting things in the planning. I am confident that we can not only build our reputation for people development but also attract new talent, reinforcing our commitment to excellence and community engagement.”

Ralph will also be taking over from Azza Gray at our academy and will oversee the introduction of a progressive curriculum for all players attending our sessions. Our vision includes forming academy teams to compete against other academies, elevating our standards and opportunities for Sheppey’s young talent.

We wish Ralph all the best of luck in his new role.

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Sheppey United FC