Harris appointed U18s individual coach by Southampton
Written by Simon Austin — March 22, 2021
FORMER England in-possession coach Mikey Harris has been appointed to the new position of Under-18s individual coach by Southampton.
Saints Director of Football Operations Matt Crocker is a big believer in individual coaching and has already appointed Lee Skyrme, another former England specialist coach, to the role of B team Individual Development Coach earlier this month.
During his time as Head of Coaching and Development at the Football Association, Crocker was one of the main architects of the specialist coaching system. The system was scrapped following his departure amidst the financial pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to Harris being made redundant.
As the title suggests, Southampton's individual coaches will work one-on-one with players, which could include creating bespoke development plans for them, doing individual work during training, using bespoke video and data analysis and liaising with the wider multi-disciplinary team.
Writing on LinkedIn, Harris said: “I feel very grateful and privileged to be ‘back in the game’ starting a new role at Southampton Football club today. I am also immensely grateful to the ‘football family’ who have been amazing to me over the past few months.
“Every call or message received and each conversation had during this time has had a positive impact on me. I find it especially humbling when everyone has had so many of their own difficulties and challenges to deal with during the pandemic.
“Thank you to you all. I feel very lucky to have worked with and met so many incredible people during my journey to date and I’m very excited to meet and work with some more on a fantastic project with SFC.”
Southampton have been highly innovative since Crocker's arrival, introducing a B team at the start of this season as well as launching a new Player Insights department with the objective of bringing an analytical and data-driven edge to scouting and recruitment.
Harris was Professional Development Phase coach at Brighton for two years before joining the FA in November 2019.