Academy Manager pays tribute to staff as he moves onto a new chapter
Shrewsbury Town’s outgoing Academy Manager Andy Jones has thanked a number of people for their hard work during his time at the club.
Andy made the decision to leave the role earlier this month and will be replaced by current Head of Coaching Eric Ramsay.
Andy admitted it was a hard decision to make, but is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
“I’ve got a young family and it’s been two years of almost relentless work”, Jones told ShrewsWeb
“I’ve loved every minute of it and enjoyed it, but I made the decision recently that it’s probably best, at this time in my life and with my family, to move on.
“It’s been a lot of work. It’s every day, it’s every night, it’s all weekend, but I knew exactly what it was going to be like before I came in.
“It’s just one of those decisions that I’ve made, I’m going to stick with it now and I’m looking forward to my next adventure.”
The Academy enjoyed huge success last season with six players offered professional deals, but Andy is pleased with everything that has been done from top to bottom.
“I hope that the club appreciate the work that I’ve put in over the last 18 months”, Jones said.
The whole football side has been completely changed. We’ve got a new curriculum. We’ve got a new philosophy. We’ve got a new way of playing. We’ve got a vigorous CPD programme in place now that we’ve not really had.
“I’ve reworked the education from top to bottom, so we’ve got education tracking for every boy in the Academy from Under-9s all the way up to Under-18s. We’ve got our Under-18s on a very vigorous education programme that is grade one at Ofsted.
“We’ve never really had a big push on recruitment, but now we’ve got 12 local spotters at all different age groups that will come in and work all across the county this season.
“We’ve got a great new idea with our Shadow Squads now, which has taken a bit of time, but we’ve now got Shadow Squads from Under-9s to Under-16s which are primarily looking at recruiting local boys.
“We’ve moved a hell of a long way in 18 months and it’s a great opportunity to someone to come in and take it on from the current state we are in now.”
The Academy has had a number of changes over the last 18 months, but Andy wanted to praise all the staff who have worked incredibly hard to make it successful.
“The staff I’ve brought in have been really good”, said Jones.
“Jordan as the physiotherapist has brought great energy and freshness to the Sports Science and Medicine Department. Obviously, Eric has come in as Head of Coaching and brought a new dimension of the football side, which is really positive.
“I also don’t want to forget all the hard work that Cal (McKenzie) has done for me over the last 18 months. He has been my right hand man over the last 18 months and I couldn’t have done it without him.
“I also don’t want to forget all the hard work that Charlie Musselwhite has done for me over the last 18 months. He’s come through the system and over the last 18 months he’s had five or six different roles, but he’s starting to become the complete package now and I want to thank him for his hard work as well.”