Sauer leaves Wimbledon after 12 years to join West Ham

Sauer started with Wimbledon's Under-8s in 2007

Sauer started with Wimbledon's Under-8s in 2007

JEREMY SAUER is taking up the new role of Assistant Academy Manager at West Ham next week after 12 years at AFC Wimbledon.

Sauer, who has been Wimbledon’s Academy Manager since 2013, first joined the club in 2007 as part-time Under-8s coach before rising through the ranks.

He said: “We started with teams in local Sunday leagues with volunteer parent managers and children wearing Chelsea and Arsenal shirts to training. Now we are heading into our ninth season as a professional Academy that consistently improves all its players as people and footballers.

"Last season the Academy contributed 20% to all appearances in the first team in League One. This has been due to the hard work and love for the club that players, parents and staff have put in. I’m humbled to have been a part of this journey and I can hand on heart say it’s defined the person I am today.”

Wimbledon, who have a Category 3 Academy, placed 32nd in our 2017/18 Academy Productivity Rankings - above Premier League Bournemouth, Brighton, Burnley and Watford, and Category 1 Derby and Swansea.

Wimbledon Chief Executive Joe Palmer added: “It is testament to the job Jeremy has done here that a renowned Academy such as West Ham has also recognised his talent - It shows that we are not just developing talent on the pitch but the staff off it too.

Academy Head of Coaching Michael Hamilton will take over from Sauer as AFC Wimbledon’s new Academy Manager. Having initially joined the club in 2008, Hamilton has also served as U18s assistant and Lead Youth Phase Coach.

Sauer said: “Michael is the ideal person to take up the reins as Academy Manager. The AFC Wimbledon story, identity and culture has become second nature to him.”

Hamilton added: “The Academy has been very successful over the last few seasons and I very much look forward to building on what is in place so that we can deliver an Academy we can all be proud of.”

Wimbledon are also creating a new role of Academy Operations Manager, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the game.

West Ham go into this season with a new-look Academy staff. Ricky Martin was promoted to Academy Manager in the summer, replacing Terry Westley, who had been in charge for five years.

Dmitri Halajko arrived from Leicester City to replace Liam Manning with the U23s, while Kevin Keen resigned as Southend United assistant to replace Jack Collinson as U18s lead.

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