This is OUR TRUE LEADER. The SCOTLAND boy who moved to CANADA at the age of 24 and brought with him his passion and relentless desire for soccer.
Having been a player in the Scotland U-18s Schoolboys International squad, Graham Smith (the GAFFER as he is now known) played SEMI - PRO in Scotland while at the same time studying at the University of Glasgow, and also played for the SCOTLAND SEMI-PRO International team. Subsequently, the GAFFER travelled down to England to pursue a Veterinary Career and continued to play Semi-Professional. During his time in the UK, the Gaffer enjoyed trial periods with several professional clubs (including a number in the now Premiership Leagues in Scotland and England).
Moving to Guelph to continue his Veterinary and eventual Pharmaceutical Consulting career, the Gaffer continued to play – for the University of Guelph and then captaining the highly competitive Guelph OAKS, a team he successfully coached more recently.
Eventually meeting a 'Scottish Lasse' and marrying - the GAFFER began coaching his two boys and a team of 7 year olds in Milton, Ontario. The GAFFER continued as head coach for the Milton BOY’S REP team with near enough the exact same group of boys for 10 years. Throughout that time, not a session nor game would pass without hearing the Gaffers encouraging words to his group of 15 boys - 'NO TIPPY TAPPY'. A phrase which carried the message - be ASSERTIVE and CONFIDENT.
A PHRASE which has had such a STRONG IMPACT on so many - and continues to do so - as THE GAFFER'S LEGACY and philosophy continues to be taught 30 years later at the local soccer pitches.
Ross Smith is a former professional soccer player with extensive experience coaching young aspiring soccer players. With a B. Sc. in Education and a qualified physical education teacher for grades k to 12, Ross has 20 years experience Coaching/Training players from their first kick of the ball - to those making their career in the game.
Growing up, Ross played for the Ontario Cup winning Dixie/Mississauga Club, before transfering High schools to Scotland for a year to be a part of the youth set up for semi -professional outfit, Forfar Athletic.
From Scotland to the U.S., Ross gained a full athletic scholarship to the University of Rhode Island where he captained the successful NCAA First Division team - highlighted by a trip to the 'Sweet 16' Round in the NCAAA Tournament, and named FIRST TEAM all A-10 Conference selection honors.
After completing four years of soccer and education in the states, Ross returned to Britain in order to pursue a professional soccer career. While in the U.K., Ross played full-time pro in England spanning over 5 seasons that included playing for League 2 side, Dagenham and Redbridge F.C. and each of those 5 years playing in the historic FA Cup.
Following this time, Ross returned to North America, where he signed for the Rochester Rhinos and then the Colorado Rapids. With the Rapids, Ross was hit with an injury in pre-season which sidelined him for a year.
Returning to Rockwood to rehabilitate - Ross used this time to give rise to 'No Tippy Tappy'. A dream of his to give enthusiastic, unique, and challenging soccer experiences to players of varying age and levels of ability.
Once fully recovered, in 2010 Ross returned to the pitch and signed for the Portland Timbers of the USL Soccer League where he enjoyed a successful season playing in front of the famed 'Timbers Army'.
After the 2010 season, a playing contract with the Timbers was not extended, but a broadcasting one was - and so Ross signed on for a year to become the radio and TV colour analyst. At the same time, Ross became Director of Recreation soccer for Eastside United F.C. who are an affiliate with the Timbers. Here, he was responsible for overseeing the Coaches training, running of the Recreation and transitional programs into competitive soccer for over 800 players.
At the conclusion of this Broadcasting and Coaching year, the itch to play again was too great, and Ross returned to England to play for his old club Ebbsfleet United where he finished the season in May 2012 and ultimately, finished his playing career.
During his career, Ross played against top caliber teams such as - Manchester City, Fulham and West Ham United (English Premier League), Boca Juniors (Primera Division, Argentina), and Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps (North America).
Finally ready to hang up the boots - Ross concentrated his time and focus into growing NTT into year round programs which proudly trained over 300 players throughout 2013-2015.
At then end of the 2013 MLS soccer season, The Portland Timbers came calling with the offer for Ross to become their new TV game day analyst, along with responsiblities to co-host the club's weekly TV and Radio Shows.
Currently, Ross is entering his 3rd full season as the Timbers TV Analyst.
This summer (2017), Ross will return home for our week of NTT camp!