Everton start search to fill two key Academy posts

Saturday, 30 April, 2022 4comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have launched a search to fill two key roles within the club's Academy that were vacated with the departure of David Unsworth. The club is looking to appoint an Academy boss and (separately) an Under-23s head coach, with the recruitment process being led by Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell.

David Unsworth held the roles of both academy director and U23s manager, so the club's move to separate those responsibilities indicates that it was perhaps a mistake for him to have been given both roles when he was made head of the academy in September 2020.

The move is believed to be a direct result of the much-vaunted "strategic review" of football matters undertaken by the club's board. Launched at the back end of last year, the review has focused on the football side of the club with the ambition of identifying lessons that could be learned from recent years.

The decision to appoint Frank Lampard after the departure of Rafa Benitez was one of several influenced by the work of the review, with Everton officials looking towards building a long-term strategy in the hope of laying the foundations for progress.

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It is understood the new academy director will work closely with both Lampard and Thelwell and take overall responsibility for the management and direction of several departments, including the academy's coaching, recruitment and sports science.

The U23s head coach will oversee coaching and development of the U23s side — who narrowly avoided relegation from Premier League 2 last night, despite a 7-0 shellacking from Champions Manchester City — and focus on producing players capable of making the transition to first-team football.


Reader Comments (4)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 01/05/2022 at 04:04:53
I can understand splitting the responsibilities of the Academy Head and the U-23s Coach but exactly what are Kevin Nicholson's responsibilities as Coaches Coach?

Is there really that much administrative paperwork, which must be quite a lot if you are dealing with juniors from ages 8 to 22, that it needs somebody to oversee what the DoF staff can't manage, albeit the Head will be part of that staff, and how many positions, if any, are redundant once the "right" coaches are in place?

Phill Thompson
3 Posted 01/05/2022 at 20:07:04
This is passing by almost unnoticed, even by the Echo. We are effectively diluting the U23s Manager position to U23s head Coach, and the kicker is they will report to the Head of Academy Coaching – who is currently John Ebbrell. Effectively, we've promoted Ebbrell!

Will any talented youth or U23 coach really apply for the U23s Head Coach position knowing he's reporting to Ebbrell and not the DoF? Unless of course we have a certain ex Everton player who's currently working with the U23s, Jose Baxter, lined up.

So much for the much-vaunted "strategic review" of football matters undertaken by the club's board. I can't believe that even the regular “jobs for the boys” critics have missed this, maybe we're all exhausted by relegation fights.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 01/05/2022 at 00:02:52

I was reluctant to comment on this article, because I suspected what you have said. The new DOF will no doubt be high on expectation status, but will be short substance.

I visted this thread to state that it was just two vacancies to be filled. I did suspect it would be internal or at least there to be a connection. Probably a bit of PR wheeled out to give the impress that someone is doing something, but as you say it appears that jobs for the boys is still alive and kicking.

Phill Thompson
5 Posted 02/05/2022 at 09:27:24

I'm surprised at the lack of comments on this, or even clarification as I believe I'm right in saying Ebbrell is effectively our U23s manager with the coach reporting to him. Any optimism I had for a refreshing change at this level has disappeared.

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