As part of the ongoing staff restructure within the Academy, we are pleased to announce the following changes to the Academy team. Paul Hughes (formerly Lead Foundation Phase Coach) will now take on the role of Head of Coaching, whilst Luke Smith had successfully been appointed to take over as the new Lead Foundation Phase Coach full time.
The new role of Head of Coaching will see Paul responsible for the development and mentoring of the coaching staff as well as the continuous monitoring of the football delivery within the Academy, with Luke Smith taking on the role of overseeing the development of the players within the u9s to u12s age groups from October.
“Previously the role of Head of Coaching was a combined role and this usually meant it was myself as the Academy Manager who fulfilled both jobs” commented Jonathan Henderson
“However we felt that in order to give the coaches the best possible support, and in turn this would give the best possible provision to the players to develop, that this needed to be an independent full time role. At category 3 this is not a mandatory requirement so to have the club support us in having this additional member of full time staff is a real positive for the program”
“Luke’s appointment came following recent interviews where he presented us with some really forward thinking and exciting ideas so we are keen to see how he takes these forward in time. We are delighted to have him on board and we are confident he can continue to develop the good work being done with the younger players in the Academy”
“These appointments come on the back of both Molly Dursley [Sports Therapist] and James White [Athletic Development Coach] having their roles increased to become full time in the summer, the addition of Sophie Morgan as Lead Pre-Academy Phase Coach overseeing the development of the u6s-u8s program, the implementation of a new recruitment network which sees 11 new regional scouts on board, and most notably the appointment of Chris Hargreaves to oversee the transition of the u18s into the 1st team through the new u21s provision, all of which show a clear commitment from the club in giving us the best possible resources available to support the development of the players within the Academy”.
We would like to take the opportunity to wish Paul and Luke well in their new roles with the Academy.