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Former Riverhound Hugh Roberts launches BackYardFooty educational webinar series

Photo Courtesy Rachael Kriger

Former Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC defender and BackYardFooty founder Hugh Roberts, is launching an educational webinar series aiming to enrich the youth and mentor athletes along their journeys.

This unique opportunity seeks to provide an outlet for young players to learn directly from professional athletes – not just current athletes, but successful retirees, trainers, and coaches.

BackYardFooty’s new “Footy Academy” will go through Roberts’ eight-year professional career, where most recently he’s spent as a center back in Charlotte.  Not only does he dissect the journey of becoming a professional athlete, but explains the importance of other mechanisms such as nutrition, business, mental toughness and other key components that make up a pro athlete.

The course is slated to meet virtually once a week for four weeks.

Each session will run at least an hour, however attendees should expect longer. In addition to the live instruction, there will be downloadable presentations also made available to students. Every session will be recorded as well and will be offered as a package at the end of the four-week course as an e-book available for purchase.

Roberts will be offering two different course packages for students in order to accommodate different styles of learning. Group sessions as well as individual, one-on-one sessions will be offered—all running at least on hour..

“Group sessions are a great way to meet and engage with other students who are on the same journey as yourself”, Roberts said. “With group sessions, you get a chance to listen and discuss with other students as well as listen to and ask guests questions. Individual sessions are an even better way to hone in on your specific needs to help you achieve your dreams”.

He will also be offering ongoing, advanced-level courses periodically throughout the year.

These sessions will entail more detailed topics, groups activities and a higher understanding of skills.

In addition to the sessions and presentations, students will receive weekly emailed updates on guests attending each session, as well as presentations and other announcements. Roberts notes that the online nature of this class aims to help students take an active role in the learning process by engaging and collaborating with other students and the instructors on a regular basis both in the live sessions and through group activities.

“These changes take time and I’m fully committed to helping youth athletes achieve their dreams,” Roberts said. “There’s no other outlet where you can meet, listen, learn and interact with professionals like this.”

Those interested in signing up can do so at under the Academy tab.

Details such as pricing and an official start date are forthcoming, and questions can be sent to Part of the proceeds from each attendee will also go to the “Footy’s Got You Foundation,” BackYardFooty’s charity foundation that helps local charities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

About BackYardFooty: BYF is one of the most popular soccer brands in the Footy world, continuously growing and improving while representing the Black community. BYF follows the journey of the professional soccer player Hugh Roberts, as he enters his eighth year as a pro consistently showing behind-the-scenes content into the professional life.

For more information and to follow along, please visit

(John Krysinsky’s Interview with Hugh Roberts, from 2018, begins at 19:00 mark) 


John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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