The Charlton and Brighton star aiming to help bring on football's next generation

A former Brighton and Charlton star is to pass on his football knowledge and skills to the next generation of young players.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 8:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 8:42 am
John Robinson in his Charlton days, up against Michael Carrick of West Ham / Picture: Getty

John Robinson grew up in the Sussex town of Newhaven and went on to have a 16-year professional football career.

He played for Brighton & Hove Albion, and during his 12-year career at Charlton, he was part of the 1998 team promoted to the Premier League.

He was a Welsh International player for 11 years, and in 2017 was entered into the Charlton Athletic Hall of Fame.

John Robinson in action for Charlton against Fulham in the Premier League / Picture: Getty

Having run a successful youth academy in Florida for the past ten years, he has now returned home to bring his wealth of football knowledge back to where he began.

John Robinson Soccer UK is an independent football academy providing a complete pathway for players aged five to 20.

They have partnered with Newhaven FC and The Saffrons Sports Club in Eastbourne and say this is a very exciting time for youth football in the area.

Starting with the entry level pre-Academy, this is an introduction to representative football where children can express themselves freely and grow in self-confidence.

Players can progress to the academy programme and continue to be guided by the highly experienced qualified coaches, with evaluations throughout training and matches.

Toniight and next Tuesday (Sep 15 / 22) for girls, and tomorrow and next Wednesday (16 / 23) for boys, they are holding our first academy trials at Newhaven FC. Ages seven to 15 are invited.

On Monday, September 28 they hold their first academy trials at The Saffrons, also for ages seven to 15.

Players can register for any of their trials at

In 2021 John Robinson Soccer UK will start their education programme, offering 16 to 18-year-olds a two-year NCFE level three Diploma (BTEC equivalent) in sport and physical activity, also operating from Newhaven FC and The Saffrons Sports Club.

The final step in the pathway for 18 to 20-year olds is the opportunity to attend university in the USA on a football scholarship with John Robinson Soccer USA.

Through the UK football academy and education programme, John Robinson Soccer will guide players and students to reach the ultimate goal of earning a degree and playing football in the USA.

Robinson says: “This is such an exciting time, not only for the youth players in the local community, but also for me personally.

“As a junior player, I played for Newhaven Imps at the age of eight and for Eastbourne Town at 13 which makes this extra special for me to be back.

“During my professional career, so many times I saw the dreams of many players cut short, with no Plan B to fall back on.

“Our aim is to nurture and guide young players to reach their full potential, while still focusing on their education.

“Newhaven FC and The Saffrons Sports Club share our vision and ethos, so I am delighted we can work together.”

Chris Landers, Newhaven FC Youth Chairman, says: “John Robinson Soccer UK provides great links for the youth across all our local areas.

“Their philosophy and values are a great match to ours, providing that extra step for all players looking to further their football journey.

“John Robinson Soccer UK provides coaching at an academy level with a team of vastly experienced coaches that have experienced all levels of the game.

“Not only this but they are ‘Proud to be different’ in that they are the only independent academy that really do provide multiple pathways within their network of organisations across Europe and in the USA.

“I have really enjoyed working with John Robinson.

“His vast experience as a player at the highest level, and his countless and growing connections to the world of professional football, will be an asset to the community.

“His principles really complement our club ethos here at Newhaven FC; ‘Football for all’.”

Roger Myall, The Saffrons chairman, says: “The Saffrons Sports Club is delighted to welcome the John Robinson Soccer UK Academy to our beautiful multi-sport venue in the centre of Eastbourne.

“It’s great to partner with a forward-thinking academy where, unlike many football academies, the individual child is at the forefront of everything they do, and where the environment exists whereby children can express themselves freely and grow in self-confidence.

“The post 16 education programme, plus the opportunity to progress to University in the USA, gives our young players a complete pathway to continue to play the game they love.”

Trial dates and times: Newhaven FC - Girls - Tuesday 15 and 22 September 5-7pm; Boys – Wednesday 16 and 23 September 5-7pm. The Saffrons Sports Club - Monday 28 September 5-7pm. Register at