Vacancy: Head of Player Development - Youth Development Phase

Sunderland AFC is recruiting for an exciting opportunity to join our Youth Development team.


We are looking to appoint an experienced and enthusiastic person to lead on the individual, group and team planning of player development in our Youth Development Phase. The key responsibility is that each individual within these age groups has a bespoke training and games programme in order for them to gain the appropriate level of challenge and support that they require to progress through the programme. 


Reporting to the Head of Coaching / Academy Manager these positions will align coaches and the coaching programme to the club’s coaching and playing philosophy and support appropriately to ensure players receive a holistic transition through the age groups and phases, creating a best-in-class environment.


The successful applicant will have excellent inter-personal skills to deliver consistent up to date communication surrounding the journey of the players, have coaching experience across the range of phases of academy football and understand holistic individual development within children and young adults.


Responsibilities for the role include:

  •    Oversee the team planning and theming per mesocycle
  •    Observe and prioritise individual player development within training and fixtures
  •    Support Youth Development Phase coaches with all aspects of the role
  •    Plan, create and evaluate coaching sessions as scheduled
  •    To independently source and review video clips of individuals and groups with reference to player’s individual learning objectives in liaison with the analysis department
  •    Provide a health check / update on coaching cell operations after each block of work
  •    Oversee the trialist’s who enter the coaching cell providing suitable evaluation and feedback during the signing / exit policy
  •    Delivery and collaboration with other staff to prepare players for the expectations and demands of senior professional football
  •    Recognise potential complaint situations and make effective steps to avoid and/or resolve these situations


The successful candidate will have experience of a working within a high performing team and environment, teaching and learning experience within Academy football. Essential qualifications are UEFA A licence, FA Advanced Youth Award, EFAiF Qualification and FA Safeguarding Children.


The position is full time (40 hours per week), with working hours being flexible around business demands and include evening and weekend work as required, including home matches and special events. You will be expected to undertake any specific training or Continued Professional Development to maintain your up-to-date knowledge and qualifications, and/or as organised by the club.


If you have the relevant skills and wish to be considered for this position, please complete the application form and return by email to If your application is successful, you will be contacted for an interview which will take place at the Academy of Light on a date to be confirmed. Please note these positions are subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Check. All applicants must be able to verify that they are eligible for work in the UK.


A full job description and person specification is available on request.  Applications should be submitted before close of business on 26 November 2021.

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