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Michael praises staff behind the scenes after pair step-up to first-team

An update from Michael Hamilton

15 March 2021

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In his monthly update, Academy Manager Michael Hamilton highlighted the valuable work of staff members towards a successful audit and had news of a new appointment.

Michael also expressed his delight with the progression of Andy Parslow (pictured above with Mark Robinson) and Rob Tuvey after both stepped up to the first-team.

See below for Michael’s full update.

We speak a lot about the players and their progression (and rightly so), but behind the players we have got some extremely talented staff members, whose quality of work can often be overlooked.

Back last summer we (the academy management team) all agreed that our objective as the academy was to be recognised nationally, and everything we do must build towards that. Last week we had our annual Safe to Operate audit, conducted by PGAAC, and whilst we are still awaiting the final report, the verbal feedback received was that ‘we are the best category 3 academy, that has been audited so far’.

Whilst this will mean very little if progression on the pitch is not being made, the structure off the pitch provides the backbone for our development model. Therefore I would like to highlight the significant work and contributions of Frank Thompson (Club Welfare Officer) Jenna Richards (Head of Academy Physical Performance and Medicine), Matt Flynn (Lead Academy Physiotherapist) and Michael Cook (Academy Operations Manager), who managed the project managed the audit process. A big thank-you, on behalf of everyone in the academy.

Staff progression:

Over the past 12 months, myself and Joe Palmer, have discussed the negative fact that we (like other academies) are compensated for the ‘loss’ of talented players, but not for the ‘loss’ of talented staff. Our staff are often highlighted for recruitment by Category 1 / 2 academies, not only because of our growth but also because it is more appealing to hire staff who are very familiar with the day to day workings of an academy, as opposed to training new staff up. Therefore, it gives me immense pride to see the talent of academy staff members recognised and being given the opportunity step up and form part of the first team coaching team, supporting our former Academy Manager Mark Robinson.

Andy Parslow, who has been with us for the past two seasons (having previously been at Brentford FC and Watford) has taken up the role of Restarts / Set Piece Coach and Rob Tuvey has stepped up in the role of first team coach. A lot is said about ‘experience’ or ‘the lack of’, but not all experience is positive. Unless you’re of the character to reflect and learn, just because you have more of something, doesn’t mean you are ‘better’. Both are talented individuals who are highly knowledgeable and acquire the skillset to adapt their attributes to support the requirements of the players they are working with and will work all hours of the day to succeed.

Finally, I would like to welcome Liam Connor to the Academy, he joins as Physical Performance Lead and replaces Will Rose, who left at the end of 2020. Liam will work under the provision of Jenna Richards and will manage the Physical Performance department in the academy. 

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