Meet The Team

Say hello to the team!

The Soccer Stars Team

SoccerstarsUK was formed in 2003 by Darren Wassall and Pat Lyons, to provide both boys and girls, with the opportunity to learn new soccer skills and improve existing ones. SoccerstarsUK specialise in youth development, from grass roots to elite performers.

The Directors

Darren Wassall

Playing Career: Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Manchester City, Birmingham City

Coaching Career: Derby County Academy Director

Darren began his professional football career in 1984 under the guidance of the great Brian Clough. Darren enjoyed a successful career playing at numerous clubs, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Manchester and Birmingham City. The knowledge and experience that he has gained over 30 years has proved invaluable, and has enabled himself and Pat to develop SoccerstarsUK into one of the country’s leading independent coach and player development programmes. Darren has overseen the development of many young players in the academy, such as Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick, Mason Bennett, Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe. In 2016, Darren became Head Coach of the Derby County 1 st team and successfully guided the club to the playoff semi finals.

The Directors

Pat Lyons

Playing Career: Derby County. Burton Albion, Worcester City

Coaching Career: Derby County Football Club Under 23 Head Coach

Pat started his coaching career at the age of 19 at Derby County’s Academy while playing at Burton Albion under the management of Nigel Clough and being part of the team that won the Conference North . Pat gained his UEFA A licence at the age of 24 becoming the youngest coach in the country to achieve this prestige coaching qualification. Pat is currently the Under 23 Lead Professional Development Phase Coach at Derby County and has played an integral part in the progression of players such as Mason Bennett, Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick and Max Lowe and also in DCFC’s Under 21’s successful Premier League 2 promotion in 2015/16. He is passionate to make a difference to players of all abilities with his experience both as a player and a coach. It is this passion from Pat and Darren along with their values that makes SoccerstarsUK stand out. In 2016, Pat assisted Darren with the Derby County 1 st Team and helped guide the club to Championship Play Off Semi Finals.

The Managers

Chris Broadhurst

General Manager

UEFA B & FA Youth Award Qualification

Derby County Academy U10’s Coach

Afpe Level 3 PESS Qualification

Chris set out on his coaching career at the age of 16 working with local grassroots football club Repton Casuals, after gaining his FA Level 1 Coaching Certificate Chris joined SoccerstarsUK as a Part-Time coach in 2006.

Following his completion of his UEFA B & FA Youth Award Qualifications, Chris became a Foundation Phase Coach at Derby County Academy in 2014 and has been helping develop local elite footballers from the ages of 9-11 during this time.

In 2014, Chris was appointed General Manager of SoccerstarsUK overseeing all Schools, Coaches & Programmes.

Chris Harding

Staffordshire Area Manager

UEFA B Qualification

Head of the Derby County Academy Development Centres

Afpe Level 3 PESS Qualification

Chris started his coaching career whilst playing at Burton Albion FC as a Scholar playing with likes of Nigel Clough. He then gained his FA level one and joined SoccerstarsUK as a part time coach in 2007.

In 2012 he became an Area Manager and since then Chris has gone on to complete his UEFA B Licence and FA Youth Modules.

During this time Chris has gone on to be Head of Derby County Academy Development Centres in which has seen over 40 players make the transition into the Derby County Academy.

Ashley Donson

South Derbyshire Area Manager

FA Level 2 Qualified Coach

Afpe Level 3 PESS Qualification

Qualified Disability Coach

Ashley started his coaching journey at the age of 16 working with local grassroots football club Stockbrook Colts FC, whilst at College he gained his FA level one and joined SoccerstarsUK as a part time coach in 2015.

In 2017 he became a Full Time coach and since then Ashley has progressed into becoming a SoccerstarsUK Area Manager.

During this time Ashley has coached for Derby County Ladies FC, coaching in the Foundation Phase of the club.

Daniel Topps

Central Derbyshire Area Manager

FA Level 2 Qualified Coach

BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development

Qualified Level 2 Multi-skills and Cricket coach

Daniel’s first steps into coaching came whilst completing an activity leadership apprenticeship in coaching in 2012. He then went onto college to undertake a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching before finishing and spending the summer of 2014 coaching in California.

Upon returning from the USA Daniel started his undergraduate degree at Southampton which allowed him to coach a wide array of sports in the south Hampshire area.

Daniel has also coached football across Europe coaching in Spain and Portugal over a number of years.

In March 2019 Daniel was appointed SoccerStars UK area manager for Derby Central.