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Derby County FC

Derby County FC

Head of Academy Operations


posting Date

role Type



Apr 27, 2024


Head of Academy Operations

Derby County Football Club, established in 1884, is one of the founder members of the English Football League and has a rich and varied history, including two First Division titles in 1972 and 1975 and an FA Cup success in 1946. The club are currently playing in League One, the third tier of English Football, and is under the management of Head Coach, Paul Warne. The club also boasts a successful and respected Category One Academy, a status which has been held since 2014. Derby County is embarking on an exciting new era following the change in ownership to Clowes Developments (UK) Limited. Our track record of producing talent is outstanding, and we intend to protect that proud legacy, investing in key roles within the club to build on the foundations in place for success.

Derby County Football Club seeks to appoint a Head of Academy Operations to lead the organisation, planning, and delivery of the club’s Category One Academy operational plan, logistical matters, and administrative duties.

The successful candidate will underpin all Academy activities from pre-academy to under-21s with effective operational capability and support.

Key Responsibilities:


Be a member of the Academy Leadership Team and contribute to the group on all matters relating to Academy operations.
Line manage the Academy Secretary, Academy Operations Manager, Academy Kit and Equipment Manager, and referees coordinator while indirectly supporting drivers, referees, and security staff.
Review the current operations department and build a structure that best supports the Category One Academy based on our training ground.
Liaise closely with the Club Secretary and Assistant Club secretary on matters relating to Academy and first-team operations.
Oversee the Academy operations budget and ensure value-for-money solutions while delivering high-performance outcomes for the Academy.
Hold a weekly team operation meeting and attend a wider Moor Farm campus meeting to ensure alignment across the football side of the business.

Oversee the elite environment at Moor Farm and maintain the highest standards of facilities and equipment to help support an outstanding culture of excellence for our players and staff.
Oversee the rebranding and refurbishment of the Academy areas within Moor Farm, liaising with maintenance, the Academy Operations Manager, grounds staff, other contractors, and key stakeholders.
Ensure all facilities resemble a world-leading category one environment and regularly monitor its standards.
Liaise with engineers and contractors to ensure all maintenance issues are addressed and resolved speedily.
Ensure any external stadia that will host PL2 games are fit for purpose and maintain a high level of standards for our players and staff.
Ensure the matchday experience across all age groups, players, staff, parents, and opposition resembles an outstanding service provision.

Produce weekly, monthly, and annual scheduling for the academy using various methods, including our digital platform and other documents.

Oversee all Academy fixtures and planning from Pre-Academy to U21s, delegating to departmental staff members where appropriate for specific management.
Oversee and lead (where required) correspondence with clubs, referees, staff, players, and parents regarding fixtures, hospitality, expenses, transport, accommodation, food, and accreditation.
Oversee/lead on U16-U21 fixture planning, attending specific fixtures where direct involvement is required to ensure the smooth running of the fixtures.
Drive an appropriate tours and tournaments programme across the Academy and ensure operations staff support the effective delivery of all trips. Provide a Team Operations person from the operations department for each trip.
Ensure pre-trip recces are carried out to cover all emergency, operational and welfare-related matters.
Oversee the preparation and distribution of any tour/trip paperwork, including EFL/PL/FA forms, travel arrangements, insurance, itineraries, and flights.
Be present to manage busy matchdays, evenings and weekends, where required, and appoint key staff to appropriate security and safeguarding support areas.

Transport & Travel

Work with the Operations Manager to ensure appropriate transport support for young players travelling to and from Moor Farm.
Oversee the team travel logistics for all age groups about games and tournaments.
Specifically support the games programme on matchdays to ensure all off-field operations are in order.
Ensure value-for-money solutions on transport hire and staffing management while ensuring a high-level service for our players and staff.


Ensure all paperwork is completed for EPPP and youth development rule compliance.
Work with and support the Academy Secretary on registering players, administering the Academy and planning events for CPD, player achievement days and parent meetings where required.


To demonstrate consistently high standards of behaviour and to operate within the parameters of the Laws of the Game, the Rules of the Football Association or the Rules of the Football League and FA Premier League.
Work across the age groups in delivering technical sessions, concentrating on the Youth Development Phase.
Work closely on the pitch with the Head of Player & Coach Development and coaching staff to design, evolve and implement solid and robust Individual Player Learning Plans which are regularly reviewed.
Personal characteristics and essential experience:

Extensive experience as a Head of Academy Operations role in a Category 1 environment (or similar)
Experience in organising overseas trips, tours and tournaments
Experience in managing a large site with multiple users
Experience in managing a team of staff across various sub-departments
Knowledge of the EPPP and Youth Development rules
Knowledge of ‘best in class’ facilities and tournaments overseas
Creative and innovative management of large-scale facilities
Flexible, adaptable and supportive to be solutions orientated
Ability to manage multiple projects at one time
Essential Qualifications

Safeguarding and child protection
Health & Safety qualification
Desirable Qualifications

A strong academic background, preferably to degree level (or equivalent)
HE Certificate in Professional Sport and Administration (or equivalent)
Salary dependent on experience

This is a full-time position based at our training ground in Oakwood, Derby.

This role will sometimes require weekend and evening work in line with the Academy programme.

Everything we do as a Club is built around the three pillars of stability, integrity and progress.

Our core values are:

We are proud of who we are and what we do
We are positive, inspired and passionate
We are ambitious and driven
We are prepared, honest and humble
We are the heartbeat of our community
We are the club of opportunity
Derby County employee benefits include:

25 days annual leave plus bank holidays
Two complimentary staff season tickets
Two complimentary staff away memberships
20% discount at DCFC Megastore
Company Pension with Aviva
Discounts with select Club partners and sponsors
Healthshield Cash Health Plan to support employee health and well-being and Perks for great deals and discounts
Participating in our employee forum, ‘The Herd’
Training and development opportunities
Access to programmes and volunteering opportunities with Derby County Community Trust
Subsidised lunchtime meals at Moor Farm
Derby County Football Club is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people, and adults at risk, and it expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

As part of the Club's commitment to providing a safe environment for children and young people, applicants should be aware that this post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Criminal Record Check.

Derby County Football Club is an Inclusive Club for all and is committed to Equality and Diversity.

To apply for this role, please complete an application form, which can be found HERE.

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More information can be found at

The closing date for receipt of applications is Sunday 12 May 2024. We reserve the right to close the vacancy early.

Strictly no agencies, please.

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