Southampton create new Head of Development role in Academy revamp

Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl with youth product Michael Obafemi

Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl with youth product Michael Obafemi

SOUTHAMPTON are poised to announce their new Head of Player Development after splitting the traditional Head of Coaching role in two as part of an Academy revamp.

The Saints have concluded their recruitment process for the new position and selected a candidate who will soon be unveiled. This person will work in tandem with Coach Development Manager Iain Brunnschweiler, who arrived at the club from UK Sport in November 2017.

The new job is part of an Academy revamp following the departures of Technical Director Martin Hunter and Executive Chairman Les Reed last year. Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl and Director of Football Operations Ross Wilson have been heavily involved in the process.

The revamp has three main aims:

  1. to have experts working across the board with coaches/ players aged 8 to 23.
  2. to align the U23 programme closer to what Hasenhüttl/ Wilson have agreed is the ‘Southampton way’ at first team level.
  3. to make sure that every part of the Academy programme gets the same attention/ is reviewed regularly to remain modern and current.

    Academy scouting has also been significantly beefed up. Saints were the youngest team in the Premier League following Hasenhüttl’s arrival and Yan Valery, Michael Obafemi, Will Ferry, Ramello Mitchell and Sam Bellis have all progressed from Academy to first team.

    A club insider told TGG: “We need to make sure we are maximising the potential of our young players every day. We are the youngest team in the Premier League since Ralph came in and want to stay young, but that will only happen if we give our young players everything they need to succeed.”

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