Portsmouth closing in on making key backroom appointment that's attracted 'outstanding candidates'

Pompey are closing in on appointing a new academy manager.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:09 pm

And Danny Cowley revealed he's been part of the recruitment process despite only being under contract as head coach for the remainder of the season.

The Blues started seeking a new youth chief last month to succeed Mark Kelly.

Kelly took up the role as player development manager in July – with his remit focusing on creating an improved conduit between the academy and first team.

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Head of education and player care, Jon Slater, stepped into the academy manager role on an interim basis.

Speaking to the Tony Goodhall Fans' Conference, Cowley revealed there have been some ‘outstanding candidates’ and the successful applicant will be announced soon.

Pompey’s head coach said: ‘We have been in the process of recruiting an academy manager and are very close to making an appointment.

Pompey's Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘We’ve been involved in the interview process. We had some outstanding candidates – that excites me. Some recent years have been arduous for the football club.

‘I want to look forward and be positive. I really see this as new beginnings. We’re looking to make really good appointments in really important positions.

‘Every football club is only as good as its people. When we all align ourselves and get joined-up thinking, it’s amazing what you can achieve.’

In recent years, the vast majority of youngsters handed scholarships have been from the local area.

Irish trio Eoin Teggart, Gerard Storey and Harry Anderson are the exceptions, while Petar Durin was also signed for a fee from Italian outfit Atalanta.

However, Cowley believes signing 16 year olds from across the country could be an avenue the Blues explore moving forward.

He added: ‘I genuinely believe we have to look outside the box and do things differently.

‘I believe I have some good ideas, the club has some good ideas, and we’re in the process of appointing an academy manager who will have ideas of their own.

‘We’ll then pool those ideas together and decide the direction of the academy. We want players with physical attributes but also those with learning capacity to develop and improve.

‘We could look at extending our scholarship offer to recruit youngsters from around the country.’

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