Neil Sillett latest Portsmouth Academy loss as Brighton swoop once more

Pompey’s Academy have received a blow with Neil Sillett to join Brighton.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 3:49 pm

And it is represents the third time in little more than two years the Premier League club have raided the Blues’ youth set-up for staff.

Sillett, who has served as head of Academy recruitment since February 2019, will tomorrow work his final day at Fratton Park.

Having seen out a month’s notice, he will then start as Brighton’s national scout for the under-18s on Monday, January 6.

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The former Pompey physio’s remit involves working along Dave Wright, ironically the man he replaced at the Blues.

Wright spent 11 months as head of Academy performance and recruitment before quitting in January 2019 to become Brighton’s Academy recruitment manager.

Now he has returned to his former employers to lure Sillett to the Amex Stadium and bolster scouting resources.

Operating in an Academy possessing a Category 1 status, Sillett will have the opportunity to target top young talent, aided by the Seagulls’ financial muscle.

Pompey's head of Academy recruitment, Neil Sillett, is leaving to join Brighton. Picture: Jonathan Brady

In contrast, Pompey are a Category 3 model and remain restricted in their ability to recruit in a busy youth market which also includes Southampton, Bournemouth, Chelsea and, of course, Brighton.

The Purbook-based Sillett, who served as Blues physio under Jim Smith before following him to Derby in 1995, has in recent years worked as a scout for the Scottish FA and Aston Villa.

Incidentally, Pompey lost popular lead under-18s coach Mikey Harris to Brighton in November 2017.

He subsequently quit the Seagulls in November 2019 to become a specialist youth coach with England at St George’s Park.