It's been a case of ‘Sofia so good’ for Malvern Town’s Bulgarian duo of first-team coach, Georgio Raev, and Goalkeeping Coach, Tsanko Ruschev, as they have become key members of the backroom team at the uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West club.
Raev arrived at the HDANYWHERE Community Stadium during the early part of last season having moved to the area from Newcastle upon Tyne where he was involved with a number of local clubs, most notably Blyth Spartans, as he worked towards his UEFA ‘A’ Diploma. His remit for The Hillsiders includes some session planning and delivery, matchday warm-ups and game analysis and he was influential in bringing fellow countryman Ruschev to the club at the start of the current campaign.
37 year-old Ruschev cut his footballing teeth as part of the Academy at four-time Bulgarian League Champions, Litex Lovech, before going on to serve the likes of Ravda FC, Sunny Beach FC and St. Vlas FC in his homeland. Combining a playing career in the third-tier with study, he emerged from the Bulgarian Sports Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Pedagogy and also Football Coaching in 2019 and will be taking his final assessment for the UEFA ‘B’ Coaching Diploma from the Bulgarian Football Union soon before beginning a Master’s Degree in Physical Conditioning in Football and working towards his UEFA ‘A’ Goalkeeping Licence.
“I am very much enjoying the coaching time that I have with the goalkeepers at the club,” he said. “Everyone has been extremely welcoming and warm-hearted towards me and they have accepted me into the ‘family’ here. “My job is to train and develop the goalkeepers and it is rewarding to see their growth already and also improve their performance in each game. I observe their game very closely and then work with them to improve areas that need attention and further enhance the positive aspects. The goalkeepers here are very receptive to this and we are building a strong working relationship."
“I am very impressed by what I have seen from the team as a whole so far. It is a well-run operation and it is only the beginning of a successful era for the club. Of course, I am extremely happy to be part of this tremendous group of people; everyone here is so enthusiastic and determined, this runs from the very top of the club, all the way through. To have 14 wins and just one defeat from our 15 competitive fixtures so far tells its own story. This record speaks for the quality of the lads that we have here, each of whom always gives 100% for the cause."
“It is the reason why we have beaten teams from higher levels to reach the fourth round of the FA Vase and why we are top of our League. Coming here has been good for me and I want to continue playing my part in the development of the goalkeepers and move forward with the club."
"I am always learning and have personal ambitions to get more qualifications and keep evolving as a coach and as a person. I feel that I can do that here.”