Three new faces and two staff moves in the AcademyShrewsbury Town are delighted to announce that three new staff members have joined the Academy.
Former Swansea development coach Eric Ramsay has been appointed as the new Head of Coaching, Alex Ramsay has become the Lead Youth Development Phase Coach, whilst Jordan Beech has become the new Under 18s physio.
Meanwhile, current staff members Callum McKenzie and Ben King have also had a change of role with Callum becoming the Professional Development Phase Coach and Ben taking on extra responsibility as the Under 18s technical coach.
Head of Academy Andy Jones admitted that it has taken longer than he would have liked to get everyone in place, but he is delighted with the appointments.
“I’ve gone on record quite a few times to say how difficult it has been in the last two or three months, but I think we are finally getting there,” Andy told ShrewsWeb.
“We have brought some really good members of staff in. It was important that they fit the club. That was what we wanted through the interview stages and I think that is what we have got.
“We took our time. It was important that we brought the right candidates in. Some of it has taken longer than we would have thought, but we are there now and we are looking forward to it.
“It is our turn this year to have an audit, which is going to be massive for us, massive for the club and it is important we get the right people in to make sure we regain our status.”
Eric Ramsay comes into a newly formed role which will see him look after coach development within the Academy and Andy believes he is the right man for the job.
“Eric comes with a wealth of experience and a wealth of knowledge”, said Jones.
“It’s something we are excited to have and lucky to have here at the Academy. He’s pretty much been leading the Under-18s over the last few months alongside Callum McKenzie and he’s put in some really good structures in the Academy already.
“We’ve been working hard looking at the curriculum, looking at the philosophy, looking at how we can develop things and we really want to move things forwards.
“We’ve already been doing a lot more internal and external CPD (continuing professional development) events, making sure that we move the academy forwards and Eric is going to be a pivotal part of that, not just for the players but also for the staff.
“I think we are always under the illusion that to get the best players we need the best staff and I think to get the best staff it is important that they are constantly trained and their knowledge is developed on emerging trends within the game and that’s going to be his role and we are excited to have him.”
Alex Ramsay was also working alongside Eric at Swansea and he will help coach the age groups below the Under-18s, whilst also working with the goalkeepers.
“Alex is coming in as Lead Youth Development Phase Coach, primarily looking after the Under-12s, 13s, 15s and 16s,” continued Andy.
“Again he comes with a wealth of experience and we are looking forward to having him within those age groups moving forwards.
“With the younger ones the transition from 9v9s to 11v11s is important and bringing his knowledge and coaching badges will help to upskill the department as well.”
Moreover, Jordan Beech becomes the third new recruit into the Academy as he replaces Ali Gibb as the Under 18s Physio and Jones is hopeful he can take things to the next level within the medical department.
“It is probably the most difficult role to fill within the Academy”, Andy said.
“The medical side is very important and with Jordan coming in we are looking to take it to the next level. Jordan was in a similar position at Carlisle so he’s got a couple of years’ experience working at a Category Three club.”
“I think he will bring in that youth and will come in with a different dimension. His background is as a physiotherapist, but he is also very clued up within the sports science department and I’ve spoken to him about moving us forwards with that.”
Finally, Andy was quick to praise Callum McKenzie and Ben King who have been promoted internally and he believes that they both now have an opportunity to progress further.
“Cal have primarily been working in the Youth Development Phase and I just thought it was the right time for him to move into the Under-18s”, Jones said.
“He’s done a great job over the last couple of months leading them alongside Eric and after the work he’s done with the 14s, 15s and 16s over the last two years or so I think it was a natural transition really.
“Ben has been here a couple of years now and he’s proved a really valuable asset for me. He’s a fantastic Foundation Phase Coach and he’s also very good within the Youth Development Phase and working with the 18s.
“Ben will be doing a lot of the one to one work as a technical specialist coach with the Under-18s a couple of times a week.
“I think with everything that is emerging in the Academy we really value those individual practices and Ben will be responsible for implementing and designing that programme.”