Paul Holland, who departed Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Ilkeston FC as first-team manager last week, is to become Midland League Premier Division club Long Eaton United’s new head of football development for the 2017/18 season.
Holland will be working closely with chairman Jim Fairley, director Nick Dargan and first-team managers Gary Hanson and Shaun Rickford to establish the best environment to ensure the club has a pipeline of quality youth players progressing through to the first-team.
Holland will take over the management of next season’s new under-18 development squad with the objective of creating a clear pathway for the existing group of talented players to progress through to senior football.
Chairman Jim Fairley said: “For some time we’ve been clear that we’ve wanted to bridge the gap between our youth and senior sections.
“Before pressing ahead, we wanted to ensure that our facilities could match our ambitions and then to recruit the appropriate leader to take us forward.
“Our facilities are now second to none and in Paul we are confident we have the right person with the appropriate playing and coaching credentials to give the best chance of success.”
Holland added: “I am excited by the opportunity at Long Eaton United Football Club.
“The club is ambitious for both its senior and youth sections and hopefully my experience in professional football and more recently developing quality academy players will help us achieve those goals.”
His role will also include advising on the establishment of a new academy at Grange Park which, in conjunction with Loughborough College, will create a football excellence and education programme to attract, develop and retain quality youth players as well as helping the club achieve its defined core social responsibilities.
Loughborough College’s Matt O’Dowd said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Long Eaton United on this programme and are all looking forward to helping to provide first class education and sporting opportunities for local youngsters.”
Club director Nick Dargan added: “We have an existing group of talented under-16s playing in this season’s national Nerf Junior Premier League most of whom have spent time in professional club academies.
“We also have a number of excellent teams progressing through the club at the younger age groups.
“We are keen to give them the best chance of progressing and we are confident that Paul, with his history of developing young players, is the right person to take them forward and will be successful in bringing many of them through to top senior football when the time is right.”
Holland has over 300 appearances in the Football League with Mansfield Town,
Sheffield United, Chesterfield and Bristol City and has represented England at under-21 level.
He has also managed Mansfield Town and Ilkeston and was responsible for the set-up and success of Ilkeston`s youth academy which continues to successfully develop a stream of local youth players.