Birmingham split Academy Manager role in two after Williams exit

Danetta Powell and Liam Daish

Danetta Powell and Liam Daish

BIRMINGHAM CITY have split their Academy Manager role in two following the exit of Paul Williams after less than a year.

The Blues announced that Williams was leaving at the start of August. Now they have opted for a dual replacement, with former captain Liam Daish returning to the club as Academy Manager (Football) and Danetta Powell promoted to Academy Manager (Operations).

Technical Director Craig Gardner said: “It is vitally important that we get the right identity and create the right culture here at the club. We have been working hard to achieve this and these appointments are the next stage in the club’s development.”

Daish played for Birmingham from 1994 to 1996, making 98 appearances and lifting both the Division Two title and Football League Trophy.

For the last five years the UEFA A Licence coach has been a Professional Development Phase coach at Portsmouth.

Gardner said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Liam back to the Football Club in an official capacity. It is vitally important that our recruitment on and off the field brings the very best to Birmingham City. Liam has first-hand knowledge of the club, our history and our vision which is a recipe for success.

“Liam was as committed as they come as a player and his desire to succeed has been replicated in his post-playing career. I know his commitment and professionalism will continue in his new role as the Academy enters its next chapter.

Daish, a former Republic of Ireland international, added: “My vision is to help produce players that help Birmingham City. I believe that a certain player suits Birmingham City and I know what the fans love in someone that plays for the Blues. I will try and instil that in the youngsters coming through, that might be from the area too."

Powell joined Birmingham in 2014 as Academy Administration Manager. She went on to become Head of Safeguarding and Player Care and, from January this year, Head of Academy Operations.

“Having worked with her over a number of years, I know that there is nobody better placed to steer the Academy’s off-pitch activities,” Gardner said.

“Danetta possesses a fantastic ability to work with people and the management skills to lead us forward with decisive decision-making and a deep understanding of the pathway that everybody is so proud of.

“It is vitally important that we get the right identity and create the right culture here at the club. We have been working hard to achieve this and these appointments are the next stage in the club’s development.”

Nearby Wolves recently went for a similar structure, with Jon Hunter-Barrett as Academy Manager and Laura Nicholls as Head of Academy Operations.

Birmingham, who dropped from Category One to Two in the summer, placed 25th in our Academy Productivity Rankings for 2021/22.

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