Yeovil Town have confirmed that Jamie Harrison has been appointed as the club's new Academy Manager. As reported last week there has been a large turnover of staff within the Academy ranks, with four of the most senior coaches in last season's set-up all being shown the door, which the club describe as being due to contracts expiring. As a result Antonio Falanga (Lead Professional Development Phase Coach), Steve Rutter (Head of Coaching), Adrian Foster (U16s coach) and Paul Wilson (Academy Manager) are now all confirmed as having left the building.
At present, only Harrison is confirmed as being part of the new set-up. Back in 2015 when the Academy was relaunched, he was recuited as the Academy Co-Ordinator, but will now take on the top job within the new set-up - a promotion that he confirmed last month would mean that he would step down as manager of Western League Division One side Corsham Town. He has past experience at Southampton and Bristol Rovers within their Academy structure, and will now take Paul Wilson's old role. Harrison has said of his new role:
"I have learnt from the many experiences in recent years and feel in a good position to make Yeovil Town Academy the best category three setup in the country. In a short space of time we have transformed the academy and are already seeing very positive results with the progression and development of players, coming from a closer working relationship with the first-team staff. We have made a positive start and now it's about raising the standards of everything we do to ensure that every young Yeovil academy player reaches their full potential."
New Chief Operating Officer David Mills, whose role includes overseeing the Academy from an Executive position, has explained that the separate operating company Yeovil Town Academy Limited is now being brought into the main Yeovil Town Football Club structure. He had high hopes of Harrison's new role within the organisation:
"I am delighted by Jamie's appointment – in his other positions in the Academy Jamie has shown vision, leadership and clear understanding of the one club ethos that is so important at the club. During his time as Assistant Academy Manager, we saw a clear and immediate improvement in Academy operations, so I have no doubt that Jamie will prove to be a highly effective Academy Manager.Until recently the Academy was run via Yeovil Town Academy Limited but bringing the Academy operations back in-house allows for much greater unity and efficiency across the group and gives Academy players improved links with the first team."
At present, the club have not confirmed the appointment of Terry Moore, who was pictured in the club's squad photograph for the Under-18s set-up. They have also not indicated how the positions for Falanga, Rutter and Foster will be filled at this stage. However, on Saturday Moore was the main person occupying the dugouts for the Under-18s match against AFC Bournemouth, whilst Luke Middlewick is reported to have taken charge of the Under-16s side that day.
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