Kevin Wilson appointed Academy Lead Professional Development Phase Coach at Harrogate Town AFC

9 July 2024

Kevin Wilson has been appointed Academy Lead Professional Development Phase Coach.

Wilson takes the position recently vacated by Rory McArdle, and will be supported by Assistant Development Phase Coach Tom Hullock.

Wilson boasts a vast experience within the professional game having made over 600 appearances for the likes of Derby County, Chelsea and Walsall across a 22-year playing career.

The 63-year-old also made 42 appearances for Northern Ireland and has managed ten teams since hanging up his boots, including Northampton, Ilkeston and Nuneaton.

On his appointment, Wilson commented:

Youth development has always been a process I have enjoyed, seeing players like Che Adams come through Ilkeston to play internationally gives you great pride and having seen the boys here we’re hopeful that we can get a few professional contracts through to Simon in the first team.

I’m trying to give them the career that I had as there’s no better career than being a professional footballer, there’s a lot of work needed and a lot of attitude and application required, but we’ll certainly be working hard with them.

The players here are very talented, but you have to make sure your attitude and application is right. We are trying to mould good people, give them good values, make sure they are disciplined and organised, giving them the best opportunity to go forward with their career.

It’s important we look after them, make sure there’s a process afterwards as well if they don’t continue with the club.

The lads have all come back in good condition, it’s now about getting minutes in their legs and making sure we get plenty of ball work in. We want to make sure the lads understand what their roles and responsibilities are and hopefully we can have a good season, but it’s important to remember at Academy level it’s not about winning all the time, it’s about developing young players and that’s our main ambition here.

Alongside Kevin and Tom on the playing side is Strength and Conditioning Coach Elliot Mountfield and Physiotherapist James Barber, who are further supported by Academy Manager Rich Jones and Head of Education Kate Diffin.

Wilson will take charge of his first match on Saturday as our U18s take on Chesterfield in their first pre-season fixture.

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