Pro level academy offers specialised football coaching, enabling anybody to access academy standard coaching no matter who you are. We are firm believers that development is accelerated in a fun, safe and respectful environment.

We offer a wide range of session types, enabling us to cater for all needs. Here at PLA, we feel we are the answer to bridging the ever-growing gap between grass roots and academy football. Due to the experience and knowledge of our coaches, we are parallel to anything else in the area.

Meet our Coaches


Tom Conlon

Co founder & Head Coach

Tom Conlon was born in 1996, he currently plays for Port Vale. He joined Stoke City at the age of 8 and continued through their ranks before being released at 16. He then went on to join Peterborough after a short period with local team Newcastle town. Tom then joined Stevenage before going on to sign with Port Vale where he is now club captain. He has spent more than 18 years within a professional football club.


Nathan Smith

co founder & Head Coach

Nathan Smith was born in 1996, he is a defender at Port Vale, where he has spent the last 13 years. Nathan did not come into academy football until he was 13. Having come through the ranks at Port Vale he had to go out on loan for his first two professional years, to Stafford Rangers and Torquay United, respectively. He has then gone on to make more than 300 appearances for local team Port Vale.


Nick Ridgway

owner & Head Coach

Nick Ridgway was born in 1991, he has over 14 years coaching experience. He bolsters an unbelievable list of qualifications and at the top of that is his UEFA A license coaching qualification, this is what all premier league managers now require. Nick has coached in the UK and USA with an age range of 5-18. He coached at Port Vale academy but took a step away to help develop young players through PLA. He has the knowledge of current academy football and what it takes to make it at that level.


Aiden Stone

GK Coach

Aiden Stone was born in 1999. He currently plays for Port Vale where in his first season he helped them reach promotion via the league 2 playoffs. He is no stranger to professional football having been at Premiership club Burnley for some years. Aiden is now ready to pass on all the different coaching techniques he’s picked up along the way.


Tom Farr


Tom Farr was born 1997, he has had a passion for coaching from such a young age. He has worked his way up through professional football club Port Vale starting with their development centre then moving quickly to their academy. He then made the step up to head coach of the U18 shadow squad. Tom made the decision to come over to PLA to help develop all the local players while continue to work with his U18s squad.