Skyrme departs as Southampton abandon Individual Coach model

Lee Skyrme: Arrived from the Football Association in February 2021

Lee Skyrme: Arrived from the Football Association in February 2021

LEE SKYRME has left Southampton after almost three years as the club abandon the model of Game Coach and Individual Development Coach introduced by Matt Crocker.

Former Director of Football Crocker, who is now the Sporting Director of US Soccer, brought in the system in 2021 to replace the traditional roles of Head Coach and Assistant.

Dave Horseman was appointed Game Coach for the B Team, with Skyrme as Individual Coach, while Carl Martin and Mikey Harris took up the respective roles for the Under-18s.

Speaking at TGG's 2021 Individual Development Coaching Webinar, Crocker explained: "The Game Coach is responsible for delivering the Playbook, to make sure the players understand how we play, the terminology, the roles within the team; to make sure we prepare the players for the game effectively, to coach and deliver that game and then review that game.

"We have also introduced an Individual Development Coach to sit alongside. Their role is to make sure there are robust, simple, player-led Individual Development Plans (IDPs).”

Jason Wilcox, who replaced Crocker as Director of Football in the summer, and Andy Goldie, who replaced Matt Hale as Academy Manager, decided to scrap the roles after arriving at the club. Horseman left to become Head Coach at Forest Green Rovers (he was sacked yesterday), Martin was promoted to first-team coach under Ruben Selles and has remained under Russell Martin, and Harris left in February to join Brighton.

Now Skyrme has exited too. He joined the club in February 2021 from the Football Association, where he was Under-15s Head Coach, and last season helped the B Team gain promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1.

Writing on LinkedIn, Skyrme said: “I really enjoyed my time at this fantastic football club and I am richer for the experiences and friendships I have gained during this period.

“My career has always been about the journey and not end goals and the people I work with will always be the most important part of that. I was very fortunate to work with some brilliant people.

“Even though last season was not a great one in terms of the club getting relegated, it was a good one in terms of the development and progress made within the B Team programme and the Academy overall over the last few seasons and longer.

“I wish everyone all the best, and look forward to watching from a far as more players progress and the first team continue to perform well and let’s hope earn that promotion back to the Premier League. My journey will continue and I am excited with the possibilities of what that might be.”

Wilcox and Goldie have also scrapped the B Team, going back to the traditional concept of an U21 side. The B Team had competed in Premier League 2, so there will be no change of competition for the side.

Adam Asghar is U21 Head Coach and an assistant is set to be announced by the club before the end of the year.

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