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 approximately 800 registered 16-20 year old players across the UK & Indonesia. Welcoming boys and girls, from development players to trialists for pro clubs, our centres meet high standards daily all under the guidance of programmes devised by UEFA A Licensed coaches. Our football education programmes in partnership with Universities, colleges and some of the UK's largest independent education providers allow learners 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 - Pro:Direct Academy Manager UK

Danny Payne, PD Academy Manager - UK

Pro:Direct Academy Manager - UK

Danny was appointed Head Coach at PDA for the 2018/19 season and now as Pro:Direct Academy Manager - UK shapes the strategy for the whole of the Academy. 

After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire in 2011 he became Lead Academy Coach at Stevenage FC. In 2015 he became an Academy Scout for Premier League club Watford FC. Since January 2019 he has been working as an Academy Scout for global giants Manchester United.

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. He specialises in overseeing our London Elite Squads and selects players from across all of our UK regional centres for the PDA Select Squad.

Danny stepped up to the role of Academy Manager - UK in 2018 where he continues to raise standards, shaping the growth strategy at PDA as well as making time for his role with Manchester United.

Chris Powell, Pro:Direct Academy Head of Performance

Chris Powell, Head of Performance

Pro:Direct Academy Head of Performance

Chris joined Pro:Direct Academy in 2016 as Head of Strength & Conditioning and a senior member of the coaching team at Pro:Direct Central London. He was a Tutor and Coach as well as Head of Site at Pro:Direct West London before being appointed full-time Head of Performance with the Pro:Direct UK team in August 2019. Chris is a graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science from the University of Greenwich, he also has experience at Stevenage FC. He oversees the quality of football provision at PDA across the UK and also works alongside our education partners to ensure that our graduates explore a wide variety of exit routes.