Harris and Fitzgerald working to identify development coaches

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

ACADEMY boss Scott Fitzgerald is working closely with manager Neil Harris to identify the best candidates to fill under-18 and under-21 coaching roles with the club.

Millwall run a category two academy under the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan.

It requires clubs to have separate academy facilities.

The Lions moved into their complex at Etham College in 2012 and at the time Fitzgerald spoke about the importance of creating a philosophy consistent from the under-9s through to the under-18s.

“Anyone who has seen our younger teams will know that we play from the back, through each third of the pitch and that we’re a possession-based academy,” Fitzgerald said. “It doesn’t always come off, but that is our aim.”

Harris has made it clear he sees the club’s future based around such a structure and chief executive Andy Ambler believes the investment is now paying off.

“They are important positions for us to fill,” Ambler said of the development roles. “Scott and Neil have been interviewing and now it’s left to Scott to tidy that up in the next week. There’s a bit of work to do.”

“We’ve got a category two academy. We invest £600,000 a year. It’s £1.2 million to run that academy and we get a grant for half, but there’s still £600,000 a year that we are investing in youth.

“Neil believes that that is the right way forward and the fans believe that’s the right way forward. We need a pathway for that youth to develop and eventually graduate to play first-team football.

“We’ve already seen it with Sid (Nelson) and Fred (Onyedinma) and the others. Aiden (O’Brien) and John (Marquis) are a bit older but came through that pathway as well.

“We’ve got some real talent coming through from the 18s and 21s. The batch of pros seem to be getting better every year and that’s exactly what we had hoped would happen.

“But it takes a long time, you can’t switch it on overnight. That process has been ongoing for three, four, five years since Scott came to the club.”


John Kelly


18 thoughts on “Harris and Fitzgerald working to identify development coaches

  • May 28, 2015 at 09:49

    This show's Millwall have a long term view on where we are going.
    One thing for sure, we must never take scott fitzgerald for granted,as he is so important to the future of our club.

    Like (39)
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    • May 28, 2015 at 09:50

      @jim1222: Oh i forgot it's over to mekongriver for his doom and gloom view on this thread.

      Like (6)
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      • May 28, 2015 at 09:57

        @jim1222: Last I heard he is now named mongriever.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 10:13

    Paul Robinson has Lions blood in him and would be an ideal role-model coaching the youngsters!
    Get those badges son!

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