Popular Norfolk FA welfare officer Raffi Coverdale to focus on a new challenge

Raffi Coverdale.

Raffi Coverdale. - Credit: Colin Finch

Norfolk FA has waved goodbye to its long-standing county welfare officer, Raffi Coverdale.

Raffi was first appointed as the Association's child protection officer back in 1999, a position she held in a voluntary capacity for a number of years, before going on to fulfil the role of county welfare officer for Norfolk.

Raffi has been a leading light nationally, fulfilling numerous roles for the FA. These have included as one of the first FA Safeguarding tutors, mentoring and developing peers in the welfare department and representing child protection issues at national conferences.

Despite achieving such prominence, Raffi has always remained true to her affection with the grassroots game, providing first aid for a number of local clubs over a 19-year period. Her involvement with the County FA first stemmed from carrying the physio bag for the Norfolk Women's squad.

Whilst sad to be departing, to enable her to focus on her role within the Coverdale family business, Raffi says she leaves with a sense of pride about how far Safeguarding has progressed.

On her successor, Ken D'Rosario, Raffi says that Norfolk has a great replacement.

'Ken is very passionate about football in Norfolk and about this particular job. He has the energy to continue the work we have started and, with such an engaging personality, the local football community will find him an excellent point of contact. He's seen his own kids progress through the youth game in Norfolk and possesses all the right qualities for the job of County Welfare Officer.'

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Shaun Turner, Norfolk FA chief executive, said Raffi has been a loyal and valuable servant to the game locally.

'The dedication, commitment and knowledge Raffi has given to the game over the last 13 years is commendable. Football in Norfolk is in a much safer and stronger place as a result of her work in the area of safeguarding and welfare. Ken has a great opportunity to develop further a number of the initiatives that Raffi has implemented over the last decade.'