RIASA Progresses in English FA Cup Competition.


Ian Whiting, a local sports reporter wrote in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus several weeks ago that RIASA/Eccleshill United FC were waiting for the arrival of the Americans to rescue them. Whiting’s prophecy is proving to be correct. RIASA directs all the football operations at the Northern Counties East League club providing development opportunities for the RIASA students.

This past week RIASA/Eccleshill moved up their league and today progressed in the English FA cup, which is the world’s most prestigious competition that allows all clubs in England to compete. The present holders of this world-renowned trophy are Manchester City FC.

While it might be a long way to Wembley the competition is moving to the stages where conference teams are now part of the draw. RIASA/Eccleshill were rewarded for their 2-1 win over Brighouse Town FC with a home game versus Conference North team North Ferriby from Hull. In total, eight RIASA students stepped into the RIASA/Eccleshill squad and made the difference in getting a result against Brighouse Town, who play in the premier of the NCEL.

Mark Ellis the RIASA football director was delighted with the team’s performance. Ellis said, “Karl Martens in goal produced a solid performance and CJ Lyle from Connecticut was again outstanding – his performances of late are excellent and I’m looking for him to maintain this standard of play. In addition Ricardo King produced a solid performance out wide”. Ellis went onto say, “Ricardo has done well so far – he is adjusting to the culture of the game. While his ability is not in doubt he needs time  –I’m expecting him to progress and move forward as he beds himself into this level of football”.

Ellis added, “Jackson Patillo, Jae Lee Yun, Brandon Roane, Adam McCabe and Victor Balis were all part of the RIASA/Eccleshill squad that produced a great result and now have another opportunity to show what they can do against a team that plays a few leagues higher. It will be a great challenge but a wonderful opportunity in their overall development”.

Ellis concluded, “The other leagues where RIASA students play are just about ready to kick off their seasons. We have five different levels for the RIASA students in addition to the showcase games – these games will be starting soon and provide opportunities for all students. I am finalizing the showcase schedule that will include Ajax in the Spring but we will be playing  Barnsley and Blackburn relatively soon – we are just trying to find common dates. Also we will have several RIASA players at Bradford City FC reserves in the coming week. My objective is to provide every RIASA student an opportunity to reach his or her potential and get a positive experience within the academy. I have seen some excellent first year students join the program – some are still young but have a lot of potential and the RIASA coaching staff is looking forward to helping them move forward”.


Karl Martens, produced a solid performace in the FA Cup against Brighouse Town FC as RIASA/Eccleshill came away 2-1 winners. North Ferriby from Hull await RIASA in the next round.

Ian Banks, RIASA Academy coach and manager of RIASA/Eccleshill United FC echoed Ellis’ sentiments. Banks stated, “ I’m very impressed with the recent training and performance from all the RIASA students. The standard keeps getting better and RIASA has in its program players that are as a good or better than many professional clubs in their own academies”. Banks played and managed at Bradford City in addition to several other professional clubs.

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