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Rob Ryles - From England F.A Development Squads to Bangladesh

"At Everton we were blessed with such talent as David Ginola, Gazza and Duncan Ferguson to name just a few....There are too many stories as you can imagine with Gazza".

Name, age, where you are based?

Rob Ryles

Age 53

Based in Bangladesh

Current Role:

I am currently National Youth Coach For Bangladesh heading up the Under 16s.

I have a website at and a podcast called Leader Manager Coach

Previously to this I was an academy coach at Port Vale F.C.

Prior to that I worked as part of the backroom staff in a performance, science and medicine role as Head Physiotherapist at various clubs including Stoke City and Everton.


FA Prelim Award

UEFA A Licence attained through The English FA in 2011.

The FA Youth Award.

FA Psychology Level V

LMA Diploma

Chartered Physiotherapy Qualification.

How did you get into coaching And what has your path been like?

I got into coaching at the age of eighteen, at the same time as I started a physiotherapy qualification at LIverpool. My Physiotherapy career took off and after qualification I worked at Crewe Alexandra, Chester City, Stoke City and Everton as Head of Physiotherapy. Following this I began working with The England development squads and was fortunate enough to gain both European Championship and World Cup experiences.

In 2006 although I had been coaching at grass roots level when possible, I decided to pursue the coaching pathway more seriously. I worked through FA level 2, B Licence and A Licence Awards and coached in non-league and at University and college level before moving to Port Vale Academy in 2015. I have recently been appointed as a National Coach at The Bangladesh Football Federation.

Any Interesting Experiences?

At Chester City in the 1990s working with Harry McNally I was physio, kit man, goalkeeping coach and almost a player when we played Bolton away and half the team were stuck in traffic.

At Stoke City, my hometown, club we won The Autoglass Trophy at Wembley fulfilling a dream of winning with my own club at Wembley Stadium.

At Everton we were blessed with such talent as David Ginola, Gazza and Duncan Ferguson to name just a few....There are too many stories as you can imagine with Gazza.

I was fortunate to live and work in Zambia with disabled children for a while in the 1990s which was an amazing experience.

What is your training focus with your current teams/players or what are your main duties in your role?

The current focus is to implement an effective and successful training regime with the Bangladesh youth squads. We have the players full time and work with local coaches.

What’s the environment like for living and what are the main things that take some getting used to?

Dhaka where we live and train is an amazing city. The people are friendly and welcoming. The traffic is something to behold. It is an amazing place. We live in the city in a hotel.

How’s the footballing culture there and how is it being developed?

There is a strong football culture although cricket is massive here in Bangladesh. There is a lot of interest currently to help get Bangladesh up the world rankings and to become more competitive.

What differences are apparent in terms of coaching or working in the country compared to your home nation?

The obvious things is the facilities, finances and equipment discrepancy. This is more than balanced out by the humility, hunger for knowledge and ambition of the nationals.

Would you recommend coaches abroad? any advice?

Even this far into the journey the experiences we have had have been exceptional. Getting out of your comfort zone to travel, meet different people and experience different cultures is highly recommended.

What’s been the best thing for your personal development thus far?

Learning to adapt to living in a country where you are often out of your comfort zone in terms of communication, food and customs.

What things have been challenging in your current or past roles?

One of the most challenging thing personally has been developing the patience to work at another skill set to progress. It has felt like a reinvention process, as people in the industry have always known me in one particular role and it has taken time and trust to progress in a different role in the same industry.

Has anything developed you more than if you were working in UK?

This role, working abroad has the hallmarks of demanding self reliance. There are expectations as you are considered an expert and there is an associated requirement to give value.

The future -what’s next for you?

The future is to implement as much as possible in this role, to give back to the people who showed faith in me and help create a solid foundation for youth development in Bangladesh.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Certainly from my family who have been wonderful supporters on the journey.

The fact that I am blessed with physical health and a skill set to be able to spend everyday doing what I love makes me want to make the most of opportunities.

People, both inside and outside the industry who have achieved great things and helped others.

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