Anyone who has seen Delgado Carvalheiro-Nunes at Hugh Boyd Field keeping legions of Richmond FC young football players focused, amused, entertained, and learning knows he’s got something more to him than the usual volunteer soccer coach. That’s also true in a technical sense, as Delgado is the youngest coach in the country to achieve his National C-License certification, having earned it at just 16 years old.

Carvalehiro-Nunes, who played his youth soccer at RFC, began helping with younger teams a few years ago under former RFC Technical Director Steve Hood, racking up volunteer hours, but has blossomed under new TD David Thorburn as the club has put significant resources into building a team of young qualified coaches from within.

The idea is to give local teens another pathway to a professional football career, besides playing and refereeing, by giving them mentoring, on-field education, paying for national accreditation courses, and ultimately progressing them towards paid coaching work.

Delgado worked his way up before that system was in place, and set the stage for him to launch into the University of British Columbia kinesiology program, where he’ll work on a sports therapy degree with the expectation to eventually move into paediatrics.

For those teens that wish to make use of the opportunities that Delgado forged for himself, Thorburn sees a launchpad into a potential career.

“Not only do clubs like ours spend money on advanced coaches, but there’s a pathway for those who are gifted at working with players to progress from there up the ladder,” says Thorburn. “Delgado has coached with the Whitecaps soccer camps, and for him to get that experience at such a young age speaks to his drive, his personality, his connection with the young players, and the value of having a community around you that supports your passion.”

Carvalehiro-Nunes loves football, and his entire family spends time on the field with RFC as coaches, managers, and players. But when he’s not kicking balls, Delgado also dabbles in robotics, having taken a champion BC squad to Houston for the First Robotics tournament.

The old thinking was that it’s nigh impossible to make a living from football, but Richmond FC is determined to show that as old thinking.

“Delgado showed what was possible, David [Thorburn] is making it possible for more kids, and you’re going to see a lot more Richmond kids like Delgado move through the system and achieve their dreams at RFC,” says Executive Director Marius Roevde.

RFC Chair Chris Parry notes the club is already one of Richmond’s largest teen employers, with hundreds of hours of annual paid refereeing and coaching available to those youths that are up to the challenge.

“You can make money working at the Lasertag place or in a trampoline gym, but if you’re really looking to show what you can do to a college admissions panel, or a future employer, refereeing 22 soccer players shows leadership and energy, and pays pretty well for a 15 year old,” says Parry. “Coaching an age group shows you have an innate ability for teaching, it shows patience, athleticism, energy, community-mindedness.. all things that look great on a resume, or a university application.”

Kids looking to make the first step on Delgado’s path should be aware there is a refereeing course on June 25 in Richmond.

Entry Level Referee Clinic
**Must be 14 years old by course date** (this is a BC Soccer requirement).
The Entry Level Referee Clinic is the entry point into 11 a-side soccer. Once an individual is successful in passing this clinic they will be classified as a Youth Referee (if they are 14 or 15 years old) or a District Referee (if they are 16 years old or older). The goal of this clinic is to ensure that individuals who pass are capable to be either a Referee or an Assistant Referee in 11 a-side soccer.

  • BC Soccer Referee Clinic # 1634
  • Clinic length: 17 hours
  • June 25, 6:00pm-8:30pm (via Webinar)
  • On-field portion is to be scheduled.
  • $129.25 + GST



1) Go the BC Soccer Referee Centre
2) Search by ‘club/district’ for “Richmond Youth”.
3) Then the two courses available will show-up.
4) Click “register” beside the clinic you would like.
5) Complete the registration form and make payment to BC Soccer.
6) Questions?