Sunderland AFC begin their search for a new academy manager - as timescales for appointing Paul Reid's replacement revealed
Sunderland AFC have begun their search for a new academy manager following Paul Reid’s departure.
Reid departed the Black Cats last week following a challenging two-year spell leading the club’s academy. The former Barnsley and Carlisle United defender had been appointed to the post shortly after Stewart Donald’s purchase of the club, with the duo having worked together at Eastleigh.
And Sunderland have now advertised for Reid’s replacement – suggesting there is no ready-made replacement lined-up for the role.
In an advert posted on the club’s official website, Sunderland have laid out the criteria that the new appointment must hit. It includes holding a UEFA A coaching licence and possessing ‘previous experience of management within the elite sports environment’.
Crucially, the club have also told potential applicants that they will be expected to relocate to Wearside should they be successful in securing the role. It is understood that Reid was not permanently based in the North East during his time as academy manager of the club.
So what are Sunderland looking for in their new academy manager?
In the job application posted online, Sunderland say their new appointment must be able to ‘shape the success and future direction of the club’s youth development department’ – while they also place a key emphasis on producing players for the first-team.
The full advert reads: “The successful applicant will have responsibility for delivering and implementing the strategic plan to shape the success and future direction of the club’s youth development department, its players, staff and stakeholders.
"The EPPP Category 1 programme requires an individual with the experience, passion and drive to promote the academy’s philosophy and culture, coordinating the development of our young players across all age groups to reach their potential and produce players for the First Team.
"The position is full time (40 hours per week, Monday-Sunday), with working hours being flexible around business demands and include evening and weekend work as required, including match attendance and special events.
"You will be required to undertake any specific training or Continued Professional Development to maintain up-to-date knowledge and qualifications, and/or as organised by the club.”
What will their key duties be?
The academy manager role is a varied one, which involves overseeing both the club’s coaching curriculum and education programme for academy players.
A full list of duties, as per Sunderland’s job advert, is below:
- Development, implementation and management of the Academy Performance Plan
- Provide reports to the Board on the academy’s performance against target
- Ensuring the effective use by all appropriate academy staff of the Performance Management Application (PMA) and audit tool, including ensuring that all relevant data is recorded
- In conjunction with the Head of Academy Coaching oversee the coaching programme from U9’s to U18’s
- In conjunction with the Head of Academy Coaching design, implement and manage the academy’s coaching curriculum
- Working with the recruitment department, co-ordinate, evaluate and manage the recruitment process (schoolboys/youth) to attract and recruit the most talented boys
- Manage the EPPP audit process to ensure all criteria are met and implemented during each three-year cycle
- Conducting an annual self-assessment of the Academy in accordance with Premier League rules
- To be responsible for the monitoring of performance, recording and reporting the progress of players across all development phases.
- Manage all academy staff, ensuring appropriate CPD and appraisals are undertaken
- To have a close working relationship with First Team Manager and the Head of Football on all academy football matters including producing and integrating academy players into senior team
- Liaise with Club Secretary as required to ensure all academy matters are handled correctly, including regulatory issues and finance
- To work with the Head of Medical to ensure the physical, psychological, educational and social development needs of the young players are met
- With the assistance of academy staff, professional bodies and stakeholders establish and enhance the reputation of Sunderland AFC and its academy
What qualifications do they need to possess?
There are a number of qualifications required by the academy manager, not least the UEFA A coaching licence and the Academy Manager’s Licence.
In addition to these, applicants also need to have relevant FA safeguarding awards to ensure they can work with the young players at the acadmey.
Sunderland have also stipulated that their new academy manager must have ‘previous experience of management within the elite sports environment’.
When will an appointment be made and are there any names in the frame?
Applications for the post close on July 15, meaning interviews and the like will take shortly after.
Given the fact the 2020/21 season is rapidly approaching, it’s reasonable to assume that Sunderland will be looking to make a quick appointment on this front.
As for names in the frame, it’s tough to say whether the Black Cats have any particular names in mind. Interestingly, there have been a number of high-profile academy staff departures at other sides in recent weeks – as club’s reshuffle in the current climate – which could mean some qualified and talented individuals are available.
Kevin Ball’s name has of course been mentioned, but few others have had their hats thrown into the ring just yet.