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Derby County FC

Derby County FC

Head of Academy Technical Development (17-21)


posting Date

role Type



May 4, 2024


Head of Academy Technical Development (17-21)

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 the Sky Bet Championship, the second tier of English Football following their promotion from League One in the 2023/24 season, 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, and a Women’s side competing in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division. Derby County recently embarked on an exciting new era following the change in ownership to Clowes Developments (UK) Limited, in the summer of 2022. 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 has an opportunity to join our Academy Coaching Team at our Category One Academy as Head of Academy Technical Development (17-21).

Our Academy's vision is to continue to provide talented, well-balanced young professional footballers for Derby County's first-team squad and become recognised as the ‘Academy of Choice’ for young players within our local area and beyond.

Our mission is to identify, develop, and support talented young footballers so that they can achieve their maximum potential in a positive, supportive, and professional learning environment.

The successful candidate will be the lead architect on the design, implementation and monitoring of a Game Craft manual which will outline the playing philosophy of the professional development phase (PDP) linked to first team requirements.

Key Responsibilities:

On Pitch

Lead on the design of the Game Craft manual with key PDP multi-disciplinary staff.
Be integral to the implementation of the manual to the U16 – U21 programme by coaching the playing groups in sessions throughout the working week.
Help coach educate the PDP staff on the Game Craft intricacies to support them on a game day executing the key tactics.
Monitor the games, players and staff to ensure the game craft model manual is being implemented.
Attend matchdays as often as possible across the PDP and under 16’s to observe, intervene and feedback on the areas of strength and development according to the Game Craft design.
Take coaching sessions where required to implement the Game Model across the phase age groups.
As part of the Academy CPD programme, present to help educate the staff on the Game Craft details.
Liaise with first-team staff to draw down their player requirements and evolve the Game Craft model where appropriate.
Where appropriate, be part of the player audit process contributing to the decision-making process.
Off Pitch

Working closely with the Academy Manager, Assistant Academy Manager, and Head of Technical Development (9-16), the role is responsible for linking technical content throughout the pathway.
Directly line manage the Lead U21 Coach, Lead U18 Coach and Head of Academy Goalkeeping ensuring alignment and effective appraisals are in place and reviewed annually.
In liaison with the Head of Technical Development (9-16) lead on the review, development, and implementation of the YDP Technical curriculum, aligned to the PDP Game Craft Manual.
Ensure appropriate session planning, delivery and session reviews are taking place to maximize the impact on player development throughout the PDP.
Attend and contribute to multi-disciplinary team meetings, team selection meetings and other appropriate coaching forums where required.
Support in the delivery of CPD to coaches in relation to our playing methodology to ensure understanding and technical knowledge are at the level required and aligned to the PDP Game Craft Manual.
Attend player audits to ensure the technical content is relevant and appropriate to inform decision-making and player actions.
Work closely with all MDT staff to evolve and implement strong and robust Individual Player Learning Plans which are regularly reviewed in accordance with individual player progress.
Maintain/enhance own CPD through regular delivery of coaching sessions and other role-enhancing courses.
Supporting the internal coach education programme helps monitor individual development programmes for coaches to enhance their knowledge in appropriate areas.
Be an integral member of the Academy Leadership Team attending appropriate meetings to help drive design, evolve and implement the Academy Performance Plan.
Collaborate with all coaching staff across the 17-21 age groups, focusing on all disciplines, including coaching, analysis, performance support, and operations, to ensure the PDP programme is elite and high-performance.
In liaison with the Academy Leadership Team, design, evolve, and implement a 17-21 operations programme that benefits an elite world-class system ready to produce outstanding professional footballers.

Personal characteristics and experience:

Experience of coaching within a Category One Academy within the PDP
Experience in Coach Education/mentoring.
Experience working to EPPP requirements.
Knowledge of the PMA system
Ability to design and run development programmes.
Extensive knowledge of the learning processes in coaches and young people
Highly personable with a “can do” attitude.
Confident, Resilient and Self Motivated
Excellent Communication skills both verbal and written.
Excellent Presentation skills
Ability to work in a fast-paced, target driven environment.
Ability to prioritise and manage own workload.
Work using your own initiative and as part of a team.
Essential Qualifications

UEFA A Licence (Level 4)
FA Advanced Youth Award
FA Youth Award
Hold Basic First Aid for Sport, current EFAiF or higher qualification.
English and Maths to GCSE Level 4 or equivalent

Desirable Qualifications

Degree in a related subject (e.g. Sports, Education, Sports Science)
Salary dependent on experience

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

This role will 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 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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The closing date for receipt of applications is Sunday 19 May 2024. We reserve the right to close the vacancy early.

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