No concerns for Portsmouth youth chief despite third academy staff member leaving for Brighton

Mark Kelly insisted he's not concerned Pompey Academy have lost three staff members to Brighton.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 5:30 am

He’s now the Seagulls’ national scout for the under-18s and is working under Dave Wright – the man he replaced at Fratton Park.

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

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Before Sillett and Wright's departures, former under-18 coach Mikey Harris joined the Category 1 set-up in November 2017. He’s since took up a role with England under-18s.

Kelly revealed part of Sillett's reasons for moving along the south coast was because the job is more suited to his personal life.

And Pompey’s youth chief stressed such departures happen at every club.

Kelly said: ‘Neil has gone to Brighton and there were personal reasons behind it. He can be at home a bit more and there’s a bit more family life for him.

Pompey academy boss Mark Kelly. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We are looking now. I have adverts out and we’ve had loads of interest because we're a big club and everyone wants to be a part of it.

‘Am I concerned? No. It’s the course of life at the moment. Neil was and is great, but I’ll go out and recruit someone just as good.

‘We’re a strong unit. My senior staff are a strong group and a group that like working together. I’m not overly worried about it.

‘Along the way in youth development, you lose one or two – we’re not the only club.

‘Brighton will lose one or two. Mikey went to them and now he's gone to England. That is just part of the process and part of life.

‘People move around and change jobs, that's the way it is. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and trying to develop in all areas of the club.’