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Robert Zanicky is a highly experienced athletics specialist: recruiter and coach, scout and trainer, agent and entrepreneur.
Robert Zanicky is co-founder and the Director of Operations for First Eleven Management, a full-service player management agency founded in 2011. He is the co-founding Principal of the non-profit Opportunity Football Academy of West Africa, a residential football training and education focused 501(c)(3) . He also co-founded, created and acted as the Director of USTA International, LLC. Robert’s education, experience, vision and evolved, compassionate focus offers him the opportunity to enhance both the sport he loves and the lives of young athletes, their families and their communities.
While sporting trends, politics, and economics among developing nations fill most of his days; when not engaged in international soccer-related efforts, Robert Zanicky pursues a variety of other interests. He continues to pursue a lifelong interest in ethics, and world religions. Bob is a recorded singer/songwriter who has also written, published and performed original poetry.
Graduate, Wyoming Seminary Preparatory Academy in 1991.
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
Assistant Coach IUP Women's Soccer from 1993 - 1997.
Juris Doctor (Cum Laude), Widener University School of Law in 2001.
Litigator for Stradley Ronon Stevens and Young (Philadelphia) 2001-2003
Founded the Immigration and Defense Law Firm, 2004 to present.
In 2006, co-founder Raymond Hassey, Esq., and Robert founded USTA International, an organization that provided World Class Coaching and Training to children in north eastern Pennsylvania. Robert Zanicky, with the full support of USTA's Board of Directors, soon expanded the academy's reach and vision into Africa in 2010. The organization once known for excellence in the United States has blossomed into one of the top scouting and training networks in Africa and cretaed a new identity as the Opportunity Football Academy of West Africa, whose Objectives and Values are as follows:
The Opportunity Football Academy of West Africa (OFAWA) is dedicated to enriching the lives of children in developing countries where poverty separates children from those basic opportunities that we believe should be available to all children; among the most essential of those are education, proper nutrition and access to medical care. Besides providing these to young athletes, OFAWA strives to enrich their lives in a structured, professional, exciting and challenging environment, focusing on development of both creative and technically accomplished soccer players in a Residential Campus environment dedicated to their overall well-being: their nutritional and medical care and as well as spiritual and moral guidance. OFAWA also will provide for the housing of those young players at the Academy that need improved living conditions; and for placement in collegiate programs as well as professional sporting opportunities throughout the West.
Robert Zanicky's non-profit OFAWA recognizes that the true treasure of Africa lies in the future of its children. OFAWA's guiding principle is that every child is unique in dignity and rich in value and that value starved of opportunity is anathema to hope. As such, OFAWA strives to provide hope through life changing opportunity. Bob and his team strive to remove the shackles of poverty one child at a time, one opportunity at a time. He believes that by providing these children a unique and professional training environment — strongly emphasizing both education and character, as much as soccer technique and tactics — that his organization can, and will, create the stars of tomorrow both on and off of the sporting pitch and change the fortune and outlook of entire communities.
Realizing he had most of the necessary elements in place, in 2011 Robert and his partner established First Eleven Management, an international full-service professional player advocacy and management agency. First Eleven Management is an elite, multidisciplinary, independent full-service agency that provide the highest- quality services tailored to their athlete-clients.
Again, focused primarily in West Africa, Robert Zanicky and his small corps of top advisers intensively scout new talent throughout the entire region and have recently expanded their networks into East Africa. They then manage player transfers and international contracts, offering strategic financial and personal advisement. First Eleven Management guides both the marketing careers of the players in their care.
First Eleven Management is unique in its field: their comprehensive and exhaustive scouting throughout Africa (even the most remote regions) is unprecedented; their numerous residential soccer camps used for talent identification is a first; their emphasis on each player’s unique abilities and character and intellectual aptitude is extraordinary; their fair and even- handed players-first focus provides life-changing opportunities as well as personal hands-on guidance through a full and fulfilling soccer career.
Robert Zanicky also consults on issues such as Third Party Ownership, Player Scouting, Player Representation, Financial Fair Play, the African Football Market and Complex Player Transfers. He is working with his partners toward the establishment of Permanent Residential Academy Campuses across Africa, which will provide educational and professional training, as well as life-changing opportunities for even the youngest players through this non-profit venture. Already Zanicky operates and/or collaborates with scouting networks and grassroots academies in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Uganda, as well as Brazil.
Robert is involved in the creation of a continent-wide developmental football curriculum throughout West Africa. The curriculum and sporting structure were developed in 2013; he plans to oversee implementation of the curriculum in West Africa, through his numerous contacts, at the grassroots level in 2015. Further, Robert hopes through working with various Football Associations that this fully implemented program may become the reality throughout the Continent.
At present, with a full plate and a compassionate purpose, Robert Zanicky is making all the right moves professionally for all of the best reasons personally: both doing well while doing good. He is successfully involved in the international sport of soccer while supporting and enhancing opportunities for the next generations of footballers. Robert is making a real difference where he is most needed.
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