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Blades strengthen Academy and Development Centres

Sheffield United is strengthening the team responsible for the Club’s Academy.

Experienced Blades vice-chairman David Green has been asked to chair the group with responsibility for leading and overseeing the enhancement of the Academy at Shirecliffe as well as United’s Junior Development Centre at Crookes. Mr Green will be assisted by Vice-President Ian Cameron.

The advisory roles are geared towards “raising the bar” on and off the field and come at a time when there has been investment in the indoor and outdoor pitches at the Academy , which in the last few years has produced  Premier League players and England internationals such as Phil Jagielka and Kyle Walker.

Current United starlet Louis Reed, who has recently represented England at age group levels, is another to come through the Academy.

“We have a good team and fantastic facilities at Shirecliffe and Crookes – but it is time to raise the bar in a number of areas as we seek to attract the best young players in the area and from further afield,” said co-Chairman Kevin McCabe.

“We are proud of our record so far, but we want to be better: David and Ian will assist that process. Both bring business maturity and are passionate about what the Academy can deliver for the club.”

Fellow co-chairman Jim Phipps added “The future of this Club will always be aligned to the success of player development and none more so than at the Academy. We will continue to invest in the future of such a vital part of the Club and the experience that David and Ian will bring can only enhance this, assisting Nick and his team in any way they can”

Aside of important youth football issues and the drive to make the centres self-sustaining, the pair will be “visible” at the Centres on a weekly basis, be available to parents of young players and will help identify and promote   commercial activities and events.

Mr Green, a well-known Sheffield City Region businessman, who owns Green Piling based at Renishaw, near Sheffield, said: “Having an asset like the Academy is vital to a club like Sheffield United. Under Academy Manager Nick Cox, who is overseeing operations, it is doing a great job.

“With the appointment of a new first team manager, who has indicated he wants to develop a strong partnership with the Academy, now is the time to make a difference, whether it is the number of players eventually coming through each year to the first team or making sure that investment and commercial support are appropriate.”

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Blades vice-chairman David Green

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