RVDL Academy co-founders
Co-founder and Academy Director
It was the Vision of Michael to create a Best in Class Soccer program, second to none for Player Development in Canada when he enlisted the assistance of Robin to get RVDL off the ground. Born in Germany and playing in the park each summer while there, sparked the fire for the love of the game. As a father of 4 boys, 3 of which played Rep soccer, Michael was actively involved with the soccer community since 1997. Former roles included Team manager, assistant coach and Head Coach CSL Elite. These various roles gave him the insight to the club rep system. Prior and in addition to his volunteer roles in the soccer community Michael also held various volunteer committee, board and executive positions within the local community including 10 years as President of the local Lakeview Ratepayers Association and 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Mississauga Arts Council. Michael currently sits on the Board of Directors of SAAC (Soccer Academy Alliance Canada).
As President of a Graphic Design and Marketing Company and being an avid Manchester United fan, Michael was keen to get involved with Manchester United Soccer School when he learned that they had come to Canada. On ManU's departure 2 years later, It was Michael's vision to create and be able to provide a program that was second to none in Canada in an effort to make a change at the provincial, national and International level when it came to developing local players. Michael, is involved full time with RVDL Soccer Academy and utilizing his business, marketing and creative problem solving skills in conjunction with his soccer awareness and community leadership skills, together with the coaching staff have forged a program and skill set that can only reap huge rewards for the Soccer Community in Canada. With Robin's departure back to the UK, Michael has had a more active role ensuring the program that he and Robin along with staff created, continues to be delivered so all players will continue to benefit. Working with contacts in the UK and Europe will continue to provide great benefits for RVDL players here in Canada.
Robin van der Laan (Co-founder 2009-2013)
Robin developed through the excellent youth Academy system in Holland, with the world renowned “total football” philosophies from the Dutch. This soccer education gave him the tools to progress into the professional game as a player. A playing career that lasted for 14 years in both Holland and England, which included playing in the English Premier League With Derby County FC as well as in the Championship League & League One with Port Vale FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Barnsley FC.
As an English FA UEFA “A” license coach Robin was fortunate enough to find a perfect fit for his beliefs on how soccer should be played starting off with Port Vale FC and Derby County FC, progressing to International Head Coach for Manchester United Soccer Schools, leading the team of coaches in Canada in 2006 for 2 years as well as other short-term international projects. This experience provided Robin the opportunity to coach players with many different backgrounds and cultures all over the world.
In mid 2009 Robin returned to Canada with his family to help start the RVDL Soccer Academy. During his time in Canada, Robin and co-founder Mike worked with the coaching staff to develop the RVDL program and curriculum. He provided mentoring to our internationally experienced coaches, ensuring the program continues to provide players maximum benefit on the field. Robin has since returned to the UK with his family in 2013 and has taken on the role of Head coach for the Newcastle Town FC first team. He continues to build relationships in the UK which will benefit our players by providing current best practice from many Pro-clubs as well as player opportunities for trials in the UK.
In addition to his role as Head Coach for Newcastle Town FC, Robin has launched the Robin van der Laan Football Academy in the UK. Robin will be working with local players to enhance their training options for some of the talent in the Midlands area. Besides the opportunity for local players in the UK, Canadian players may have the opportunity for additional UK training prior to UK trails arranged by RVDL Canada. This collaboration will also provide the sharing of best practices with the UK and can only reap huge rewards and opportunities to benefit RVDL players here in Canada.