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Head of Academy on the number of staff members who have come through to the first team set up

14 May 2021

Head of Academy Ian Sampson says the club can take a great deal of pride in the number of coaches who have come through the academy in to the first team coaching structure.

Manager Jon Brady and first team coach Marc Richards were both working with the under 18s earlier in this season, as was fitness coach and University of Northampton graduate Ashlee Adebayo.

Academy Goalkeeping Coach Tom Johnson has also spent time working with the first team this season, covering an injury to Dan Watson, while academy physiotherapist Michael Bolger has recently moved up to the first team to replace Nacho (Ignacio Herrando).

Sampson himself has also and will continue to spend time working with the first team and he said all of this shows the pathway from the academy is not just open for players, but for coaches and staff too.

"It is great to see so many coaches and members of staff come through and it really does show the strength in depth within the club's coaching structure," said Sampson.

"The pathway we talk about is not just open for players. It is open for coaches and staff as well and that can only help with the identity of the club.

"Next season, six of the first team squad will be former academy players and the first team staff will have a really good knowledge of those players.

"It helps with the transition for the players. The players know the coaches and what they want, the coaches know the players and it makes the jump in to the first team squad less daunting for the youngsters.

"The fans also know how much the club means to the staff, and it sends a message to the staff in the academy that the opportunity is there for them to progress if they work hard and develop as coaches."

In keeping with that pathway, Sampson also confirmed that Shane Goddard, the club's Lead Youth Development Phase Coach will take over the position of full time under 18s coach.

"Shane is an excellent coach who has been looking after the under 18s for the last couple of months and he deserves his opportunity," he said.

"He has come across from the Football & Education programme - that is another pathway that is very much open - and another example of the strength of the club's coaching structure working well.

"The under 18s know Shane, he is a local coach who we feel is ideally placed to take on this role."

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