Meet the Founders
Before founding Great Goals, 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.
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.
Meet our Advisors
Ivor Gumm is the Technical Director for Great Goals Football. He is a UEFA A Licensed coach, and he has over 30 years of coaching experience. 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 is a Senior Consultant for Great Goals Academy. He is a sports enthusiast with more than 30 years of experience in football refereeing. 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 our Coaches
Prithvi Jagan 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.
Arun Kumar has an AFC C license and a playing career of over 18 years and has represented competitive teams in Pondicherry & Chennai’s top divisions respectively. He has been coaching since 2015. He also holds a Goalkeeping Level 1 license.
Kishore Yesu holds an AFC C coaching license and has been coaching football for the last 7 years in various clubs in Tamilnadu, and is experienced in working with all age groups, Kishore has also been part of the state team selection committee and has been a part and coached the Tamilnadu junior boys and sub-junior girls in the Nationals.
Kishore wants to teach and produce young players who can achieve and excel both on and off the field to do good. Favorite quote: A coach must be everything like a tactician, motivator, and leader.
Sai Giriesh 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" and has been coaching Grassroots and youth level for 3 years now. He likes to analyze the game and find solutions to the problems within the game. His interest in solving strategic problems was all the motivation he required to start a career as a coach with us at Great Goals.
Shaik Moulali Holds AFC C License and a B Tech degree in Civil Engineering. He has been coaching for the last 7 years in various academies in southern India and has been with Great Goals since September 2021. His playing career includes playing for Santosh Trophy and U19 nationals for Andhra Pradesh.
Daniel Liu is an AIFF D licensed coach who has been coaching football since 2005. He has represented his school and college teams during his academic years and has also represented top teams in the Chennai Division. He is also trained in physical education aquatic fitness and gym instructing.
Dinesh A is a coach in the Great Goals football program. He has an AIFF D License. He has represented Tamilnadu 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!
Kameshwaran is our AIFF D licensed coach who joined us in 2022. He has represented esteemed Customs and Southern Railway football teams in Tamil Nadu. He stands by the quote “ Don’t stop until you are proud.”
Mgby Ningshen is an AIFF D licensed coach from Manipur. As a player, he has represented Delhi United & Delhi Dynamos in the I-league, between the years 2016-2019. 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 is an AIFF D licensed coach who has been with us since 2017. He has represented his school and colleges at top levels and has also represented Tamil Nadu in RDG games. He stands by the quote “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s all about having fun when it comes to football.”
Pavithraranjani is an AIFF D licensed coach and a certified national referee. She has represented “The University of Madras" in national tournaments and “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 has been a part of Great Goals since 2019. Prabikar has been playing football for 14 years and has represented the Indian team in the Futsal World Cup and 69th FISEC Games squad. Prabikar desires the players to fall in love with THE BEAUTIFUL GAME and have fun to the core.
Ragul Gunasekaran joined Great Goals after finishing his Mentorship Football Coaching Course with national coaches. He has represented his school and college at various tournaments and has bagged numerous titles to his name. He also was a key part of CFA Port Club, Chennai’s team. 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.
Sashang Baburaj is a young and energetic addition to our coaching firepower. He has played the game all his life and has represented his school and college at the top levels. He has also contributed to the success of the numerous teams that he represented, playing district-level football. He started as an intern here at Great Goals and now is working full-time trying to get coaching licenses to his name.
Dhanalakshmi is a Basketball Coach. She has been with Great Goals since 2014. She is passionate about basketball and loves working with children.
Gayathri V is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.
Manikandan S is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.
Vasanthi S is part of the Great Goals administrative team and has been with Great Goals since 2017.
Priya Balu is part of the administrative team at Great Goals and has been with Great Goals since 2016.