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A quality conscious Sports Academy

Great Goals is a child-centric accredited sports academy with players varying from ages 4-16 that offers football and basketball coaching. It is a place where skill and fun come together to equip children with necessary skills that’ll inspire them to reach greater goals in their lives. 

Our highly-trained and accredited coaches support every step of a child’s development throughout the program.

Since 2013, over 3500 young children have experienced our coaching. We presently run 8 centres, have partnered with 7 schools and have reached students in more than 70 schools in Chennai in the age group of 4-16 years.


Engage. Inspire. Empower.

We believe sports to be a metaphor for life. Great Goals is a sports academy that teaches young boys and girls important life values as they develop their sport skill while training with us. Children learn problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, respect, and resilience in addition to technical skills. These principles form the foundation of the Great Goals programme and will continue to be our main emphasis moving forward.

Our mission is to develop players who are competitive, compassionate, disciplined, adaptable, driven, and responsible.

Great Goals Football Academy


Sport can transform lives. At Great Goals, we train boys and girls to connect with themselves and those around them and assimilate the multiple benefits that emerge from playing a team sport. This imprint is very powerful when sport becomes part of their growing years. The life skills that sport manifests in boys and girls, help shape their personalities. We facilitate this growth through structured programs, relevant platforms, partnerships and networks.

Great Goals Football Academy


We aim to ignite that spark in young boys and girls and enable them to become the best version of themselves. This aim lies at the core of everything we do. Our sports programs are player-centric and provide a strong foundation with a positive environment to develop both technical and non-technical skills. We align ourselves with current global thinking and best practices in sport and education to deliver both meaningful and inspiring sports education to our players.

Great Goals Football Academy


We allow players to grow at their own pace and evolve holistically. We enable players to reach their highest potential by offering rigorous training and structured opportunities. By developing their competitive spirit, teamwork and leadership skills, we help children aspire to great goals in life through sports.


10 years of Great Goals

As we celebrate a 10-year milestone, we have been speaking with so many of our supporters about our early years, and the organic evolution and progression over the last decade.

In a candid conversation with Indian film critic & writer Baradwaj Rangan, our co-founders Priya Gopalen & Sandhya Rajan break down for us, what really goes into running Chennai’s leading football academy. 

10 years of Great Goals
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Meet the Founders

Meet the Founders

Great Goals Football Academy

Priya Gopalen


Priya Gopalen spent 17 years working in the field of urban sustainability and planning. She holds a master’s in Urban and Public Policy from Columbia University and is an engineer from BITS-Pilani. She also holds an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management and has worked on development and sustainability programmes in many different parts of the world. Her main interest is giving children opportunities that are engaging, worthwhile, and transformative. She hopes to give children these experiences through sport as a co-founder of Great Goals. She is also co-founder of The Magic Bean and a partner and director at CanFan Pvt. Ltd. and Onload Gears.

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Sandhya Rajan


For more than 17 years, Sandhya Rajan has worked with children in preschool, elementary, and high school settings. She graduated from the University of Madras with a master’s in biochemistry. She found that working with children made her feel happy and accomplished. She aims to assist children in realising and maximising their potential via sports as a co-founder of Great Goals. Additionally, Sandhya holds the position of Independent Director on the boards of India Cements Ltd. and Easy Access Financial Services Ltd.

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Meet the Advisors

Ivor Gumm

Ivor is the Technical Director for Great Goals Football. He is a UEFA A Licensed coach, and he has over 30 years of coaching experience. 

Great Goals Football Academy

He has coached in France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan and the USA. He specializes in working with players aged 14-18 but has worked with all ages. His primary role in Great Goals is coach education. One fun fact about Ivor is that he used to play professional football as a striker!

Sankar Komaleeswaran

Sankar is a Senior Consultant for Great Goals Academy. He is a sports enthusiast with more than 30 years of experience in football refereeing. 

Great Goals Football Academy

He is the only Indian to officiate as an Assistant Referee in the 2002 World Cup and in 2000  Sydney Olympics. He also holds a AFC  C licence.

Meet the Coaches

Meet the Coaches

Prithvi Jagan

Prithvi is the Head of Grassroots at Great Goals. He is an AFC B licensed coach and is also a certified Goal Keeping Level 1 coach.


He has been a UNOSDP participant and, Project manager – ICFA( International Children’s Football Alliance ). Prithvi has 10 years of coaching experience and is a strong advocate for the development of grassroots and youth football in the country.

Kishore Yesu

Kishore holds an AFC B coaching license and has been coaching football for the last 7 years in various clubs across Tamil Nadu.


He is experienced in coaching all age groups, has been part of the state team selection committee and has coached the Tamil Nadu junior boys and sub-junior girls in the Nationals. He is passionate about training young players who can achieve and excel both on and off the field.

Arun Kumar

Arun is an AFC C Diploma certified coach with a playing career of 18+ years. He has played competitively in Pondicherry & Chennai’s top divisions.


He has been coaching since 2015. He also holds a Goalkeeping Level 1 license.

Mgby Ningshen

Mgby is an AFC C Diploma certified coach from Manipur. As a player, he has represented Delhi United & Delhi Dynamos in the I-league, between 2016-19. 


He then wanted to get into the coaching aspect where he aims to share his footballing knowledge and has been an active coach ever since.

Mohammed Nihaal

Nihaal is an AFC C Diploma certified coach who has been with us since 2017. He has represented Tamil Nadu in RDG games.


He has also represented his school and colleges at top levels. He stands by the quote “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s all about having fun when it comes to football.”

Sai Giriesh

Sai is an AFC C licensed coach who is also a qualified tactical analyst and “Speed & Agility” coach. He holds a postgraduate diploma in “Sports Management"


He has been coaching Grassroots and youth level for 3 years now. He likes to analyze and find solutions to the problems within the game. He is passionate and motivated to solve strategic problems.

Daniel Liu

Daniel is an AIFF D licensed coach who has been coaching football since 2005. He is also trained in physical education, aquatic fitness & gym instructing.


He has represented his school and college teams during his academic years and has also represented top teams in the Chennai Division. 

Dinesh A

Dinesh has an AIFF D License. He has represented Tamil Nadu in national futsal tournaments and plays in Chennai’s First Division. 


One fun fact about Dinesh is that he cracks jokes even in the most serious of situations!


Pavithra is an AIFF D licensed coach and a certified national referee. She has represented The University of Madras in national tournaments. 


She has also represented Thiruvallur District in various state-level tournaments. She first started her coaching career in 2018 at Great Goals and has stayed with us ever since. She thrives by the quote “Children won’t follow, they imitate" and always sets the best example for young children to look up to.

Prabikar Darjee

Prabikar has been playing football for 14 years and has represented the Indian team in the Futsal World Cup and 69th FISEC Games squad.


He has been a part of Great Goals since 2019. Prabikar desires the players to "fall in love with THE BEAUTIFUL GAME and have fun to the core."

Ragul Gunasekaran

Ragul joined Great Goals after finishing his Mentorship Football Coaching Course with national coaches. He was a key part of CFA Port Club, Chennai’s team.


He has represented his school and college at various tournaments and has bagged numerous titles to his name. He truly believes that one has to perform at a consistently higher level than others to succeed and that’s the true virtue of a professional.


He has represented his school at state level tournaments (BDS) and SGFI nationals in football.

He has played for Pachayapas FC club in the 2nd division Football league in Chennai.


He has recently started his coaching career with Great Goals and is excited to apply his experience on the field in his coaching style.


He has represented his school at state level tournaments (BDS) and SGFI nationals in football.

He has recently started his coaching career with Great Goals


and is eager to apply his learnings on the field and experience as a player in his coaching journey. 


Dhanalakshmi is a Basketball Coach. She has been with Great Goals since 2014. She is passionate about basketball and loves working with children.

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Support Team

Gayathri V

Gayathri is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.


Manikandan S

Manikandan is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.


Vasanthi S

Vasanthi is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.


Priya Balu

Priya is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2016.

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Would you like to be part of the Great Goals Team?

We are always looking for people who share our vision, values and passion for working with children to reach their potential.  If you’d like to be considered for a position, please fill out our Job Application Form.

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