Head of Performance Psychology Mitchell exits England after five years
Written by Simon Austin — March 16, 2023
IAN MITCHELL, England’s Head of Performance Psychology, has left his role following a technical review of the national teams by the Football Association.
The Welshman joined the FA in February 2018 as Products, Research and Partners Lead. He initially reported into Head of People and Team Development Pippa Grange, before being promoted to Head of Performance Psychology when she left in September 2019.
‘Mitch’, as he is known by staff and players, was a key member of Southgate's staff for the Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022 campaigns. However, following a technical review ahead of the latest tournament cycle, he has been released.
The FA are reviewing the whole ‘psychology function’ across the senior and age group teams, TGG understands, with further changes anticipated.
Chris Powell has also left the England set-up. He joined the England staff as one of Southgate's assistants in September 2019 as part of The FA and Professional Footballers’ Association elite placement scheme, which is aimed at increasing coaching diversity. He went on to work with England at both the Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup tournaments. The former full-back is a long-time friend of the England manager's, having played alongside him in the Crystal Palace youth team.
Powell's full-time job is as Head of Coaching for the Professional Development Phase at Tottenham, which he will continue.
In addition, Steve Morrow has left his role as The FA’s Head of Player Selection and Talent Strategy, less than two years after joining. Morrow, Arsenal’s former Head of Youth Scouting, was responsible for improving the FA’s “club engagement and insight capability”.
The recruitment process was criticised for a lack of transparency by former FA Head of Team Strategy and Performance Dave Reddin, because Morrow was originally interviewed for the position of Assistant Technical Director. The FA then decided to scrap that role and appoint him to the newly-created one, which was never advertised.
Reddin tweeted: "Appointed without any process or advert. This is how the FA used to operate 10 years ago. If he’s the best person, he would still have been selected in a transparent process. The FA should be much better than this."
Southgate names his first England squad since the end of the Qatar World Cup today, as a new cycle for Euro 2024 begins. England have qualifiers against Italy a week on Thursday and Ukraine three days later. Southgate and and his number two Steve Holland are now embarking on their fourth tournament cycle.