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Player Testimonials

Jake Areman: University of Maryland (D1) and Monmouth University (D1)

‘I played for Coach Rob at Match Fit Academy my Junior year in HS. I found his practices to be extremely well thought out and organized. He also formulated a plan for me, with his many contacts, to play D1 Soccer. With his expertise and guidance, I had several choices where I could continue my soccer career. I ultimately decided on the University of Maryland. I am now a junior and transferring to Monmouth University. Much thanks to Coach Rob for all his help!’

Jake Areman
Monmouth Men’s Soccer ‘18

Zach Pereira: Monmouth University (D1)

‘Coach Rob Leather is dedicated to teaching his players on how to get to the next level. He is very knowledgeable and stresses the importance of developing individual skills.  Coach Leather is a passionate soccer coach who is very patient in his teaching style. I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in improving their game.’

Zach Pereira
Monmouth Men’s Soccer ‘19

Zach Adler: Columbia University (D1)

‘Playing soccer at a Division 1 school is no easy feat and I can firmly say that I would not be in the spot I am today without the years of having Rob Leather as my coach. As a goalkeeper, I’ve had many talks with coaches about designing a game plan and how to execute said plan on the pitch, and I’ve had the most clarity during the years when I was taught by Rob. Soccer has always been a simple game and will always continue to be one, which is why it should be taught simply: that when you make a mistake, your coach will visually show you what would work instead. I’ve seen a lot of players come under Rob and have much improved in short time specifically on his ability to explain to players what their role is and how they should be going about. As far as managing players, Rob does a good job at analyzing what strengths each player at each position has to offer and how they can improve their play: for even the smallest of critiques. As someone who has played with Rob since I was 9 years old, I’ve learned quite a lot about soccer and have become very good at what I do on the field; it’s impossible to say that my play doesn’t reflect what Rob has taught me over the years.’

Zach Adler
Columbia Men’s Soccer ‘18

Daniel Hampton: Princeton University (D1)

‘I had the opportunity to be coached under Rob Leather for four years and, in that short time, I learned more about the game than I did in the previous twelve years.  From the little details including body position when receiving a ball to the way in which he cemented team tactics in my head, I was always learning something that made a significant impact on my performance.  Rob always made me think, not merely about where the ball was and where the players were, but about where the ball was going and how I was going to get it where it needed to be.  This thought process of thinking ahead was an aspect of soccer that had a tremendous impact not only on the field but in my every day life.  I could apply Rob's principles on the training ground to every aspect of my life and that is something I can still thank him till this day for.  Most of all, Rob was an intelligent, fair and understanding coach.  He did not play favorites and he would tell you if you were underperforming.  In my opinion, an honest coach who puts his player's first is the best way to describe Rob Leather and I was fortunate enough to be one of them.’

Dan Hampton
Princeton Men’s Soccer ‘19

Colin Panarra: St Johns University (D1)

Rob Leather was my coach for about 4 years and I owe most of my success in the sport to him. His knowledge of the game and ability to simply transfer it to his players is up there with the best. Coach Rob has a knack for helping players grow individually as well. On my team he taught us all the team shape while also giving every one the details they needed individually to really progress as a player. Whether it be something as simple as taking a touch in a certain direction to open up the field, or something as difficult as playing out of the back safely when under pressure, he saw what each player needed to work on and ensured they knew exactly what to do to improve. Personally, he helped me with both of these and much more. With his help and knowledge I improved vastly and am now playing Division 1 soccer at a top school. My success isn’t a unique case as many of my teammates are enjoying the same success. I highly recommend Coach Rob to anyone who can get the chance to train under him.

Colin Panarra
St Johns Men's Soccer '20

Ahmed Abukwaik: TSF Academy and Montclair Kimberley Academy

‘What I felt Mr. Leather did best was help players adapt. I had never played high school soccer before, and with his help I was able to quickly find my role in the team and adjust to the pace of high school soccer. In addition, I enjoyed playing for coach Leather because he was able to make me feel that I was important to the team while also ensuring that I prioritize the team ahead of myself. I really enjoyed playing under coach Leather and I’m sure many other players would enjoy and benefit from his coaching.’

John Swartz (parent of Jack): SDFC 2008

‘Rob has had an incredible influence over the boys' performance these last 3 seasons. They have gone from strength to strength. His approach is not one-size-fits-all. He manages the team as a whole, but also each boy as an individual. He is keenly aware of their strengths and weakness and how to improve them as players. Rob emphasizes learning to play the right way, to learn from every training session and every match. I can’t say enough about how much he’s helped our son in particular grow—fostering his talent and passion for the game. It’s been wonderful to watch it all.’



First Touch Soccer Academy
First Touch Soccer Academy, PO BOX 407
Caldwell, New Jersey 07006

Email: [email protected]

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