Northampton Town have appointed David Kelly as the club’s new Development Coach, with particular responsibility for overseeing the club’s young professional players.
Last season, seven players emerged through the club’s successful Academy to sign professional contracts, and part of Kelly’s role will be to help continue their progression.
"David's appointment shows the progression of the football club and his emphasis will not only be on the development of the current group of young professionals but also the players coming through behind them too,” said manager Keith Curle.
“David is very experienced, he has knowledge and experience of working both in a first team environment and with young players. He has had a lot of success both as a coach and as a number 2. He has a good eye for talent and a good eye for developing players while as a player he played at the highest level and they are excellent credentials to have.
"Anyone who knows David will know that he is very enthusiastic and that enthusiasm rubs off on other people. The qualities he brings will add to the changing room here. He has bought in to what we are trying to create at the club, we are not the finished article but we are heading the right way, we are improving and David can help us with that progress.
"There was a lot of interest in the position and in my mind it is an excellent job with a lot of responsibility. You need a good knowledge of the individual players and you need a good knowledge of the first team and the level the players need to be at. You need a good knowledge of our Academy and what is coming through and you need to be that bridge and link from the Academy to the first team.
"I like to see young players being first out on the training ground and the last in. It is not about a young player signing a professional contract and then just wearing the badges, it is about driving on and pushing on and David will help ensure that culture is very much in place here."
As a player, Republic of Ireland international Kelly appeared for Walsall, West Ham, Leicester, Newcastle, Wolves, Sunderland, Tranmere and Sheffield United while as a coach he has been assistant manager at Tranmere, Preston, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Scunthorpe United and Port Vale.