Patel returns to Southampton as Assistant Academy Director
Written by Simon Austin — January 8, 2023
NATASHA PATEL has returned to Southampton as Assistant Academy Director after more than three years with New York Red Bulls.
Patel previously worked for the Saints for eight years, from 2011 to 2019, latterly as their Head of Performance Analysis. In October 2019 she left to take up the same role with the Red Bulls.
Southampton advertised for an Assistant Academy Director in the summer after Edd Vahid told them he was leaving to become Head of Academy Football Operations at the Premier League.
Patel's remit will be slightly different to that of her predecessor, because she will have special responsibility for the Under-15 to U18 programme, while deputising for Academy Director Matt Hale when required.
Vahid, who had been with the club since November 2014, had overseen a number of special projects, including a cultural review of the Academy and development of the player audit process.
In their job advert in the summer, Saints emphasised that the Assistant Academy Director was a “senior Academy leadership post, similar to that of an Academy Manager role” but that it would have “specific focus on a smaller phase of age groups to ensure excellent concentration on the details and complexities that come with a Category One Academy.”
Southampton also have a Head of Technical Development, Iain Brunnschweiler, who appeared on Episode #39 of the TGG Podcast.