Mark Kelly explains Sean O’Driscoll’s Portsmouth Academy remit

Sean O’Driscoll will ensure Pompey Academy’s various departments dovetail together to improve youth development.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:43 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:46 pm
Sean O'Driscoll. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The former AFC Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City manager has been announced as the Blues’ new head of academy coaching and learning.

He officially takes up his post at the start of April, while Neil Sillett’s arrival as head of academy recruitment has also been confirmed. 

Mark Kelly admitted the academy previously only had a small number of staff, which has been tough at times. 

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Sean O'Driscoll. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

But O’Driscoll will help oversee medical, analysis and sports science staff to ensure their work can translate into the coaching side of things.

And Pompey’s youth chief is delighted to have him on board.

Kelly said: ‘Sean is someone I know personally from my days at Bournemouth.

‘It’s a real overview of the whole programme. This is about having people in places that can oversee the areas we really need to.

‘It’s a head of coaching role but he’ll be looking at each of the departments and how they all link together.

‘We have got a lot of different departments such as sports science, medical and analysis.

‘It’s about bringing it all together, looking at it on a whole, how we interact them and then how it goes into the coaching.

‘It’s looking to develop the intricate part of how we work within the service providers as we call it. 

‘He’ll have plenty of time to do that and it gives me a bit more time to look at the players’ general development on a whole.

‘It’s a nice balance of the team I have already got and I’m really pleased.

‘It’s about time effectiveness and what you can manage. 

‘Because we’re internally growing, now we have got a real focus in areas and can kick on.

‘Maybe in the past, especially in the past 4-5 years, it has been a tough environment at times.

‘There's been a small number of staff and we've had to deal with it but still had success.

‘But now we can really look at how we want to build and develop as a group.’

O’Driscoll has also been in charge of England under-19s, while he was assistant manager to Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.