Leonard Fernandes is a Dubai-based entrepreneur and an engineer by profession. He owns Leo Engineering Services LLC, Gulfsands LLC, and Leo Pumps companies in the UAE, before starting Pioneer Sports Academy, a non-profit organization.
A die-hard football enthusiast and played the game at a certain level. His vision is to give back to the community through football by nurturing young talent and showing them a pathway to achieve their goals. Leonard also wants to see PSA become one of the best academies in the UAE and the academy of choice in the future.

Franky Barreto is a former Indian international football player who played as a central defender. After starting off with Vasco SC in 1992, Barreto went on to play for a handful of top outfits in India, including Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, and Salgaocar SC. He has capped for Indian national team 17 times playing in tournaments including the Nehru Cup in 1997, the SAFF cup in 1997 (Champions), and the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. Besides being part of the National team, he has also represented the Goa University team, Goa U21 team, Goa Senior team, and Bengal Senior team.
Prior to the launching of Pioneer Sports Academy along with Leonard, he has worked in the higher education industry in Dubai with sports being one of the areas he managed for 17 years. He is a certified FA Level 2 coach, an appointed Middle East representative of the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) and AIFF International Scout in the UAE.
Franky was conferred with the prestigious ‘Kerkar Award’ in 2003, the highest state award in sports by the Government of Goa, India for his contribution to football.
His vast experience in football as a professional player, coach, and administrator is what is making PSA grow and achieve its goals.

Chinedu Darlington has a lot of experience coaching in football academies in Dubai. Presently the coach for the U16 squad at the Pioneer Sports Academy, he specializes in technique and leadership development among young players. Highly knowledgeable about coaching methods and a great motivator in getting the best out of the players.

Lynton D’souza- All India Football Federation Certified “D” Licence Lynton D’souza, of Goan origin, hails from Bombay, India. In Bombay, Lynton has played football at a semi-professional level in Mumbai’s prestigious Elite league, for Union Bank of India.
In Dubai for 18+ years, he has played & coached various teams, always creating strong units under his leadership and spearheading teams to numerous accolades over the years. Lynton is an excellent motivator, who is able to effectively communicate & inspire a diverse squad of players creating a positive atmosphere through teamwork. His core attribute is a total commitment to individual player development and focuses on the foundation of the game while embedding the “Sporting philosophy, Mission & Vision” at Pioneer Sports Academy.
Lynton currently coaches the U18 Elite Unit at Pioneer Sports Academy since November 2020.

Shahid is a FA LEVEL 3 qualified coach . His experience in training players of different ages from grassroots to professional players has had a major impact on the Development of youth players in the academy. He emphasizes on “Technique over everything” and always to try inculcate “winner mindset” in players. He believes a team is a sum of a group of individuals. The progress and growth of the individual are what strengthen the collective. Shahid is currently in charge of the U14 squad of PSA.

core team


Sumosh is a professional in Sports & Exercises. He is a post-graduate in Physical Education specializing in Football & Athletics. He started his football career in Kerala – India, having played for the Trivandrum district team.
Besides playing football, he also represented his university team at the All India Inter-university competitions in Gymnastics, kho-kho, hockey, and aerobics.
He currently works as a PE teacher at a reputed international school in the UAE and on a part-time basis with PSA as the grassroots squad coach. Sumosh’s calm nature and vast experience working with kids has been of great value.

AbdelWhab is a former professional player with top Egyptian clubs. He also obtained a bachelor's degree in physical education and sports science. A coach with great experience working at academies including Paris Saint German Academy in Egypt.

He has the ability to achieve holistic development for players in technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social aspects to create an unparalleled player personality.

An ex-professional football player, played in Nigeria, Ghana, India and Thailand for more than a decade.

Christian has vast coaching experience training at academies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Very passionate about football and strive hard to get the best out of his students.

Akshata, a football enthusiast with an impressive background. With a wealth of experience both on and off the field, Akshata has a remarkable playing history. She proudly represented Goa State Senior Women's Football and played for professional clubs in Goa India.

In addition to her playing career, Akshata is an AFC C License holder, equipped with 2+ years of valuable coaching experience. Her deep passion for the game, coupled with her extensive knowledge, makes her a valuable asset to the PSA team in developing girl’s football especially.

Semi- Pro Goalkeeper, Played for various clubs in India and Dubai.

Passionate and Dedicated Goalkeeper Coach to young potential goalkeepers, who understands the best practices, motivates and encourages them to put in exceptional efforts both during training and competing. Focused on foundation using best coaching methods and getting the best out of the players.