Richard Edwards, a former Jamaican national team soccer player, has embarked on a new chapter in his career as he transitions into coaching. Edwards, known for his impressive 37 caps as a player, has teamed up with his wife, Christa, to establish the Touch of Class Soccer Academy in Canada, set to commence its operations on October 3rd.
Edwards’ journey in soccer began at a remarkably young age, with him joining the Jamaican national setup at just 14 years old. Over the years, he rose through the ranks and eventually became a key figure in the senior national team. His leadership qualities shone through as he served as the captain for teams like Harbor View in Jamaica and ended his career with York Region Shooters in Canada.
As Edwards neared the end of his playing career, the question of “What comes after football?” loomed large. It was Christa who proposed coaching as the next logical step for her husband, citing his natural knack for leadership and inspiration on the field. Taking matters into her own hands, Christa secretly enrolled Richard in coaching certification courses, firmly believing that there was no time to waste in preparing for life after playing.
Richard Edwards embraced coaching with the same dedication and enthusiasm that had marked his playing career. His transition to coaching proved seamless, with his innate leadership abilities translating well into guiding and motivating aspiring young athletes. His career trajectory took an exciting turn as he started coaching in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), where he currently leads one of Canada’s top-ranked U14 girls’ teams.
Under Richard’s tutelage, his team has achieved remarkable success, clinching victories in both domestic and international competitions. Trophies have piled up, and his coaching prowess has garnered recognition throughout the soccer community.
In 2015, the Edwardses took their passion for soccer a step further by co-founding Touch of Class Soccer, an organization offering technical training sessions, one-on-one coaching, small group training, and specialized skill development programs. Their unique approach to player development quickly yielded results, with athletes going on to secure spots on prestigious teams such as TFC, representing Canada at various levels, and earning scholarships at colleges and universities.
Touch of Class Soccer Academy, set to launch on October 3rd, marks the latest chapter in the Edwards’ soccer journey. Located at GTs Sports, near the intersection of Steeles and Hwy 7, the academy is poised to provide an environment where players can thrive. Christa, drawing from her nine years of coaching experience, aims to offer more than conventional soccer programs.
What sets Touch of Class Soccer Academy apart is its unwavering commitment to inclusivity. The Edwards family understands that financial constraints can limit the dreams of aspiring young athletes. They actively seek sponsorships to support those facing such challenges, with the goal of creating pathways for talented players, much like Richard, who emerged from humble beginnings to represent his country.
In addition to the academy, Edwards emphasizes the importance of discipline as a fundamental aspect of player development. Christa’s background in the Canadian military underscores the significance of structure and discipline in the soccer journey.
Richard Edwards and Christa’s dedication to youth development is poised to make a significant impact on the soccer scene in Canada. Their Touch of Class Soccer Academy offers a unique and inclusive environment for aspiring talents to flourish. As they embark on this new chapter, the Edwardses continue to inspire young players to dream big and work hard to achieve their goals in the world of soccer. Their story serves as a testament to passion, dedication, and the power of sports to transform lives.