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Michael makes his Dons return as new academy appointment

Operations Manager appointed as part of new youth set-up

23 September 2019

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Michael Cook has been appointed as our academy’s new Operations Manager after emerging as the stand-out candidate during the interview process.

Michael (pictured centre above), who previously worked at our Foundation for two years, has since gained valuable experience at Tottenham Hotspur and at Coerver Coaching.

Whilst full accountability is with the Academy Manager, the Operations Manager will take responsibility for all senior administrative and operational tasks, including project managing our annual audit process.

Filling a new role at our academy, The Operations Manager will form part of the Academy Management Team and ensure the academy is fulfilling compliance with the Football League youth development rules.

This will allow Academy Manager Michael Hamilton to work day to day with the players and staff on the grass, whilst overseeing the business side of the academy.

Speaking about the appointment, Michael Hamilton said: “Once we knew that Jeremy Sauer was departing as our Academy Manager, and we were moving ahead with the new structure, we compiled a list of potential candidates, in collaboration with Mark Robinson.

“We whittled the list down to three and started the interview process, which included a meeting with myself, and another with Joe Palmer. Michael’s previous experience stood out before the process had started, but you don’t employ CVs, you employ people.

“It was important we were thorough with the process as it’s an honour to be part of this club. We invited Michael in to meet other staff members and gave him a few practical tasks to complete so we could test his skillset. He came through all of those tasks with flying colours. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael will bring a freshness and a high level of professionalism to the academy environment.

“We could have announced this appointment weeks ago, such was the quality of Michael’s application, but it’s such an influential position that we wanted to leave no stone unturned in the process. I’d like to thank Jeremy, Robbo and Joe for their contribution in this process, and I’d like to welcome Michael into the Wimbledon family.”

Michael Cook has a degree in Sports Management, and his most recent experience includes Performance Academy Manager with Coerver Coaching and as Special Projects and Operations Officer at Tottenham Hotspur FC. Prior to filling those posts, Michael was a Community Football Scheme Administrator here at AFC Wimbledon.

Upon his appointment, Michael Cook said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to accept such an exciting role back at this fantastic club. The Academy has seen many years of success as of late, largely down to a team of innovative staff who have created such a unique identity and culture within the Academy. I can’t wait to get started and assist in the evolution of what has been achieved so far. Come on you Dons!”

The picture above shows Michael Cook (centre) with Michael Hamilton (left) and Academy Administrator Elliot Powell.

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