Former Burnley trio join Dyche at Burnley

Steve Stone and Ian Woan played with Dyche at Nottingham Forest and were on his staff at Burnley

Steve Stone and Ian Woan played with Dyche at Nottingham Forest and were on his staff at Burnley

NEW Everton manager Sean Dyche has taken a trio of his former Burnley staff with him to Goodison Park.

His long-time number two Ian Woan has made the move to Everton, as expected. The duo were young players together at Nottingham Forest and Woan worked on the manager's staff at Watford and then Burnley, where they transformed the side from mid table in the Championship to European competitors over the course of a decade.

Steve Stone, another former Forest team-mate who was on Dyche’s staff at Burnley in 2021/22 (having previously been the club's Under-23s Lead) joins Everton as first-team coach. The trio were all sacked by Burnley in April 2022.

Meanwhile, Mark Howard joins Everton's performance department having previously worked under Dyche at Burnley for nine years. Howard is one of the most experienced practitioners in the country, having worked for Bolton and Blackburn before joining Burnley in 2013 as their Head of Sport Science.

He stayed on at Turf Moor after Dyche was sacked but subsequently left in September last year. Everton already have a Head of Sport Science in Jack Nayler, who arrived at the club from RB Leipzig in September 2022. In their statement announcing the new arrivals, the Toffees said that Howard would “support the provision of sports science.”

However, another long-standing member of Dyche’s Burnley staff has not made the move to Everton yet. Billy Mercer, who worked with the manager throughout his Burnley tenure and played a key role in the development of England internationals Tom Heaton and Nick Pope, was not named on Everton's staff today.

Instead, Alan Kelly has stayed on as goalkeeper coach, having been with the Toffees since October 2017, initially with the Academy and then, from 2019, with the first team.

A quartet of staff were sacked along with Frank Lampard last week: assistant Joe Edwards, first-team coaches Paul Clement and Ashley Cole and Head of Performance Chris Jones.

Appearing on the TGG Podcast last year, Dyche addressed the accusation that his assistants were chosen because they were his friends. After all he, Woan and Stone had been together at Forest, as had Tony Loughlan, was also on the Burnley staff before leaving in July 2021 to have an operation.

“Another misconception is that I brought my assistants in because they’re my friends,” Dyche said. “No, I brought them in because they’re good operators, all Pro Licence holders. They’d earned the right by going through youth systems and getting the miles on the clock and they’re different to me.

“If you’re all the same you’re not going to get the right outcome. I brought in a staff in who would give opinion, listen and also deliver. Me and Woany had an apartment in Whalley (a village near Burnley) and would stay there three, sometimes four nights a week, and sometimes Billy Mercer would come and stay with us too.

"Management can be a very lonely place. Who’s going to motivate the motivator? It’s everyone else who’s done well when you win and when you lose it’s just you, but those are the rules of the jungle. That’s what you buy into, that’s the job.”

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